Mission: Transition

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

Returning servicemen and women are finding reintegrating into civilian life more difficult than they thought. Many are having trouble finding a job. The problem may be a language barrier and the fix may be at the nearest Home Depot.

Home Depot stores across the nation are helping veterans brush up on their civilian language skills and translating their unique skills to a resume.

Many veterans find getting back into the workforce is more difficult than they thought. They've learned military skills, but need some help with deciphering the civilian world of applying for a job.

Half a world away they put their lives on the line and acquired a very unique set of skills. The problem is that military language doesn't translate well into the civilian workforce, but the returning troops believe their skills will serve a business well.

"Absolutely, like they were saying businesses on the civilian side focus on profits while the military focuses more on mission accomplishment and protocol," says Brian Casteel.

The new mission is to retrain the returning veterans to think in terms of the skills they have learned and translate them into the qualities civilian businesses want. That's where the Home Depot is helping out.

"They have so much more to offer based on what they've done because an E5 means nothing in the world of human resources, so getting to understand what that really is and learning more about that has been really eye-opening for me as well," says Johnny Saul.

Casteel has been back in the Heartland for about a year and is still looking for that full-time job. After Saturday's career workshop at the Papillion Home Depot, he has a better understanding of what employers want and how his skills match up. "It is two different things, but you have the same skills and it is just translating it and learning so you look presentable to an employer."


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