Mary Kay To Makeover Women Veterans

Mary Kay representatives from San Diego will makeover 22 women veterans attending REBOOT Workshop Wednesday, March 5, 2014 beginning at 1 p.m. The event takes place at NVTSI headquarters in Mission Valley, 4141 Camino Del Rio S., San Diego. Setup begins at noon and the event ends at 4 p.m. Participants will be available for interviews.

Mary Kay Senior Sales Director, Lynnae Bowen will oversee five Mary Kay consultants while they makeover 22 women veterans as part of REBOOT Workshop’s program teaching veterans to dress for success. This is the second all-women REBOOT Workshop NVTSI has provided to help address the needs of women transitioning from military service.

“Mary Kay is proud to give back to our women veterans by providing makeovers to the women of REBOOT Class 62.  Mary Kay’s philosophy is to enrich the lives of women by empowering them to reach their full potential,” said Bowen.

Mary Kay is in its 51st year of business and is one of the largest beauty companies in the world with $3.5 billion in sales.  It is currently promoting its brand “Discover What You Love” after its most successful year since Mary Kay Ash started the company more than 50 years ago. Mary Kay believes in social responsibility by helping others through philanthropy and empowering women to become their own business owners as Mary Kay beauty consultants.

NVTSI, through REBOOT Workshops and other initiatives, has helped more than 1,000 veterans make a successful transition from military service to civilian life including employment, education, personal outlook and well being. NVTSI has a proven 98% success rate of linking veterans with meaningful employment. For more information, visit www.nvtsi.org.

 

Two Veterans Benefit from a REBOOT

San Diego – Navy Lt. Pamela Johnson and Master at Arms 1st Class Anthony Evans graduate with REBOOT Workshop Class 61 noon Friday, Jan. 31 at the National Veteran Transition Services Inc., NVTSI headquarters located at 4141 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego.  Evans and Johnson join 22 other transitioning service members and veterans after successfully completing the intensive three-week transition program.

Johnson, a registered nurse, has served more than 14 years in the military. She first joined the Army in 1990 as a dental technician then separated for a few years before joining the Navy as a corpsman in 2006. Johnson earned her commission in 2011 and is currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of San Diego to become an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. Even though Johnson is already on the right track to a successful and rewarding career, she gained something valuable from attending REBOOT Workshops.

“Listening to other people’s stories, you’re not alone. That, always for me is the biggest issue. You always feel like you are isolated and this is only your problem but there are twenty something other people having your same issue,” Johnson said about connecting with the other students, fellow service members and veterans, in the class and relying on each other for support through what sometimes can be a difficult transition.

Johnson

“I’ve been in for fourteen years and it’s scary.   In the military you identify your self with your job and your rank instead of you as a person. I am going to miss it [the Navy] but because of this class I am ready to move on. I am ready to start my new life,” said Johnson about reconnecting with herself and looking forward to life outside the military.

Johnson and Evans found something in common in REBOOT even though they have very different stories to tell about their military service. They both were now focusing on their futures instead of hanging onto their identities in the military, something that holds back many veterans from achieving success as a civilian.

Evans, a native of Chico Calif., is retiring after 20 years of service in the U.S. Navy. He is currently part of harbor security, protecting the waters surrounding Naval Base San Diego. He wasn’t sure of his plans after the Navy but now he has a clearer picture.

Evans

“It made me ponder.  I haven’t really thought about changing my mindset. It was eye opening and made me take a look in the mirror and made me think about what I need to do for myself after the Navy. I started getting excited about the opportunities ahead of me,” said Anthony about why he was taken aback when he was told to take a deeper look at himself on the first day of REBOOT.

During week two students create vision boards of what they see for their futures.  Anthony thought this was a key part of what helped him focus on his future after serving in the military.  “You’re able to visualize what it is you’re reaching for and accomplish it. That’s important. I like the visualization,” said Anthony.

NVTSI, through REBOOT Workshops and other initiatives, has helped more than 1,000 veterans make a successful transition from military service to civilian life including employment, education, personal outlook and well being. NVTSI has a proven 98% success rate of linking veterans with meaningful employment. For more information, visit www.nvtsi.org.

 

Career Transition Strategies for Wounded Warriors and Veterans

SPAWAR Wounded Warrior Network event 1

Wounded warriors, veterans and transitioning Marines attended a networking event geared toward helping them create a successful future outside the military. Some of the philosophies that make REBOOT Workshops successful were highlighted as ways to help our country’s warrior’s transition successfully.

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) hosted the event at Wounded Warrior Battalion West’s Hope and Care Center on Camp Pendleton Jan. 23, 2014.

NVTSI President/National Executive Director Maurice Wilson, U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (ret), NVTSI REBOOT Workshop Enrollment Specialist Dietrice Hinojosa, and Master Facilitator, The Pacific Institute, Angus MacDonald, U.S. Navy Captain (ret), were on hand to talk with the warriors and participants during the networking portion of the event.

SPAWAR’s networking efforts grew from SPAWAR Commander, Rear Adm. Patrick Brady’s desire to hire wounded warriors. During his opening speech, Brady talked about organizations like NVTSI/REBOOT who help veterans find not just jobs but careers.

“There are people out there who want to help transitioning veterans like you find not just a job but a meaningful career,” said Rear Adm. Brady. “You need to widen your aperture, meet industry personnel and build a network of contacts that can help you find placement into a meaningful career.”

Meaningful careers are exactly what NVTSI wants for all its graduates from REBOOT Workshops.  NVTSI’s most recent initiative, Veterans Ready for Hire helps link employers with qualified veterans who are also REBOOT graduates. The workshop facilitators teach veterans about the importance of not just finding a job but finding a career they are passionate about and an employer they connect with.

Five panelists from various military and government contracting backgrounds provided advice to the warriors on what it takes to transfer the skills they learned in the military and turn them into a career working in the defense industry. Even though the panel was focused on how to help the Marines learn the ins and outs of applying for and successfully gaining a government position, their advice would easily translate to any veteran interested in finding the right position after military service.

The panelist included SPAWAR staff members, Capt. Scott Hoffman, Capt. Bryan Lopez, Ken Delozier the Wounded Warrior program manager and Northrup Gramman’s Nick Patti.

Rear Adm. Brady and the panel continued providing valuable information like building a network within a chosen industry and connecting with opportunities to gain experience. Their advice varied from how your resume should be written to having a backup plan. Below is a summary of the valuable advice provided by Rear Adm. Brady and his team of experienced panelists.

Education:

Take advantage of your GI Bill benefits.  The GI Bill will doesn’t just pay for tuition for a degree program. Many certifications can also be paid for through your GI Bill.  Check out www.benefits.va.gov/gibill for more information.

Sense of Purpose/Internships:

Have a sense of purpose. Military service provides a sense of purpose but once you leave the military that sense of purpose may disappear. Many veterans feel lost without a sense of purpose. Find yours. Sometimes a sense of purpose can be ignited by doing an Internship for a company your interested in. Shadowing an internships help you get exposed to and ascertain a specific program that matches your desires and passion.

The companies seeking paid internships are QUALCOMM, Carefusion, and Road Runner Sports.

Also finding a mentor can help too. Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by seniority or a person’s position. Ask for help and seek their counsel. Many will be honored to assist.

Resumes:

Resumes provide a first impression to a potential employer but in today’s technology based society, it’s often a computer program that weeds through the hundreds of applicants.  It’s important to prepare a “targeted resume” for the position you’re applying for, meaning key words in the job listing need to be in the resume. Take a vested interest in the company and be sure they are the kind of company you want to work for. Separating yourself from the pack by ensuring you stand out among the many talented and qualified applicants is also key to your success.

Networking Points:

Demonstrating the ability to talk about strengths and weaknesses lets employers know you took the effort to do a self-assessment.

Back up plans:

Have a back-up plan ready if your first choice fails. Be mentally prepared for many refusals or indifferent responses to your applications. The old fashioned ways are dead, so network and go get it.

In Person Interview

Do your homework as it is important to know what technical questions to ask the interviewer. If you are a problem solver and a decision maker which means something to the company if an issue comes up, you’ll find a way to deal with it successfully and therefore make a positive difference for them. Use LinkedIn to research the interviewer’s background as this will definitely impress them. Go into enough detail that they know and understand what you are about.

Present yourself authentically. No need to be overly confident or cocky but don’t undervalue yourself either. Answer questions to the best of your ability without being robotic. If you don’t know an answer, let them know you’ll find it out and get back to them.

When leaving the interview ask about the next steps for follow up; use a personal touch with the phone, or even a personal thank you note in the interim can be a differentiator for you. Follow up personally in about a week with to ensure your best self is conveyed to the interviewer. If told “don’t call us, we’ll call you,” follow directions and do not call them before they call you.

Salary Negotiations:

Do not negotiate salary right after an interview. If you receive a C-5 form, fill it out and then talk salary numbers. When working up a value for yourself, go to the Department of Labor website and recon cost proposal ranges for the skill set you’re seeking. It’s good to check with peers in similar jobs; ask them how they started their negations. This can help you get back to your interviewer with a good salary price range, well defined that is commensurate with your support value and interest in the company.

When negotiating a salary, know your value to yourself and do take care not to over- state your worth. When a panel does the salary evaluation, like Human Resources, they look at your skill sets and determine a salary range.  Be prepared to say yes or no.  The time to negotiate is when you call back, NOT after you start working.

Key Take Away Points from Panelists:

-       Make sure the company is veteran “friendly”.

-       Take an interest in your career, your happiness, how fulfilling it is for you and that it lines up with your passion and it leaves room for growth

-       Know the talent you bring to the table and follow through

-       Show genuine interest in what and why the company does what they do as your     interest is well beyond the interview

-       Once transitioned, know you are the one in control, be your own motivator and move yourself forward

-       Know your passion, network by knowing what you want, and be sure to check it out

-       Network and realize there is no one perfect thing, use LinkedIn

-       Be a headhunter and find out who is the highest manager for your needs

-       Use LinkedIn and ensure your profile is up to date

-       Make sure your e-mail address is correct, professional and readable

-       Network, network, network

 

 

 

 

Five Hot Jobs for Ex-Military Personnel

The US military is arguably the best-trained workforce in the world, and personnel who leave military service have skills that translate to virtually any career. Here’s a look at five popular jobs that give the men and women who’ve served our country an opportunity to make a difference and move up.

  • Information Technology Specialist
  • Police Officer
  • Math or Science Teacher
  • Entrepreneur
  • Civilian Public Service

Click here for full details

10 Commanding LinkedIn Networking Tips For Veterans

LinkedIn networking tips can get a little complicated, so let’s slow it down and return to what really matters. This Veterans Day, I want to help you make more connections, partnerships and friends than ever before on LinkedIn. Luckily with this handy list of tips, that is exactly what will happen – all you have to do cross them off this list!

If you need a more in-depth approach to LinkedIn, then enroll for our full course onAdvanced LinkedIn right here! Be the business you need!

#1: Always customize your LinkedIn mail.When connecting to people using the ‘friends’ selection, introduce yourself and give your new connection a reason to want to follow you. You can also explain how you know them, through your other members.

#2: Only use your best recommendations. It’s great that you have 60 personal testimonials, but no-one has time to read them. Only use your best ones, from the most influential people in your network. LinkedIn networking tips like this improve your profile likability.

#3: Guide connections to your website. Use your profile space to encourage your connections to click on your website links, so that they can get to know you and your business.

#4: Only follow people in your niche. These LinkedIn networking tips are pointless unless you connect with people in your field. Adding just anyone is a great way to make your LinkedIn page completely empty and useless for business!

#5: Tell your personal brand story. Connections don’t want to know what job you do, they want to know what kind of career you have. Be the brand and tell your story using colorful language on your profile, and people that work in the same field will connect with you.

#6: Endorse people that you know. Unless otherwise verified, only endorse the skills of people in your network that you know. LinkedIn networking tips like this will attract attention to your own skill sets and your network will in turn, endorse you.

#7: Connect via group conversions. If you want to expand your network, join several groups and then engage with real people. Be an expert in your field, and then connect with other experts as you discuss matters of importance with them.

#8: Target active LinkedIn users. If your network is active, they will help you succeed online. But if you use these LinkedIn networking tips to add hundreds of people that don’t engage on the platform, you may struggle to excel there.

#9: Put LinkedIn on your business card. It is a business network after all, and a great place for people that have met you at conferences, seminars and workshops to reconnect with you. Just add your unique LinkedIn URL.

#10: Don’t be afraid to be real. LinkedIn may be a business network, but it is also a social meeting place. Be who you are, stay friendly and informative and you will make a lot of friends in the group areas.

If you implement these LinkedIn networking tips today, you will almost certainly be earning more income from this business network over the next few weeks. There are lots of opportunities to be found on the platform, you just need to know how to strategically approach meeting people. No more cold calling for you!

LinkedIn offers all veterans one year free, so that you can find your perfect job!

LinkedIn redesigns veterans website

The veteran community on LinkedIn has grown at over twice the rate of the total membership and we are hearing from veterans across the world about the mentorship and support they are exchanging with other members on LinkedIn. Take for instance, Darrell Brown, who decided to leave the Air Force and was exploring career opportunities when a colleague advised him to expand his network. Darrell turned to LinkedIn where he was able to build out his profile and share his professional story. He joined veterans groups including the US Air Force Officers group and industry groups such as Intelligence Professionals. Darrell also followed Booz Allen HamiltonSAIC, and Lockheed Martin, among other companies, and searched for colleagues to help kickstart his next professional chapter.  Fellow veterans group members reviewed Darrell’s profile and introduced him to their networks, leading to multiple job offers, including Darrell’s systems engineering role at SAIC, leading to his current position at the National Geospacial Intelligence Agency. We hear stories like this everyday and it is wonderful to be part of a company that has the power to enable these kinds of discussions and opportunities to be possible.

We believe that LinkedIn is in a unique position to help the job seekers among our veteran members and today have unveiled a brand new website dedicated to veteran job seekers with relevant and tailored tips and resources for those looking to get a head start on their next career opportunity. The goal of the website is to make it easy for veterans to leverage LinkedIn as they develop their professional identities, networks, and career opportunities. We also believe veterans have a unique and specialized set of skills and knowledge that they can contribute to the LinkedIn community and we look forward to empowering these discussions.

August Veteran Employment Situation Report covering July 2013

VETERAN UNEMPLOYMENT REPORTGeneral Summary

The BLS CPS report states there were 21,384,000 veterans alive in July, down from 21,412,000 in June, a loss of 28,000 veterans in July. This continues the trend of the shrinking veteran population due in large part to having an all-volunteer force since 1972 and not having a military draft. There were nearly sixty million veterans alive at the end of the Vietnam War. America has lost two thirds of the veterans in the last 41 years.

There were 10,923,000 veterans in the workforce in July, a decline of 27,000 from the 10,950,000 in June.

The CPS overall veteran unemployment rate for all veterans in July rose marginally to 6.4%. The rate in June was 6.3%. This is an increase of 0.1%. There were 702,000 unemployed veterans in June, up 15,000 from the 687,000 unemployed veterans in June.

The fact that the veteran unemployment rate remains lower than the non-veteran unemployment rate continues to be good news. The above information continues a positive trend for veterans. As the veteran unemployment rate remains lower than the non-veteran unemployment rate again reinforces the fact that veterans as a class continue to have better success finding employment than non-veterans!

Younger Veterans

An area where there has been a veteran unemployment issue over the last six years since the current call up policy was implemented on January 11, 2007 has been in the 18 to 24 year old group and the 25 to 29 year old group which make up a large part of the National Guard and Reserve (NG&R). The news for younger veterans continues to be mixed.

The unemployment rate for the 18 to 24 year old veterans in July fell to 17.4% (28,000) from 20.5% (34,000) in June. There are 34,000 18 to 24 year old veterans not in the labor force who are probably in school or technical training programs or may be disabled.

The unemployment rate for the 25 to 29 year old veterans in July rose to 12.3% (68,000) from June’s 10.0% (53,000). This reverses the trend of the 25 to 29 year old veterans who had been having a falling unemployment rate.

For comparison, the CPS overall unemployment rate for all 18 to 24 year olds (veterans and nonveterans) in July was 14.2% (2,938,000), down from the June rate of 16.3% (3,397,000). The unemployment rate for all 25 to 29 year olds in July was 8.4% (1,416,000), up from the June rate of 8.1% (1,363,000),

The fact that veterans are having better success at finding jobs than their civilian counterparts is good, but there are veterans who are having problems for a variety of reasons.

Older Veterans

Of the 702,000 unemployed veterans in July, 675,000 were over the age of 25. This is an increase of 24,000 from the 651,000 in June. The unemployment rates for the older veteran groups are as follows:

July             June
30 to 34 year olds    3.1% (25,000)        5.4% (112,000
35 to 39 year olds    7.5% (65,000)        4.5% (39,000)
40 to 44 year olds    5.6% (68,000)        6.0% (73,000)
45 to 49 year olds    4.3% (59,000)        5.0% (66,000)
50 to 54 year olds    7.0% (104,000)        7.4% (107,000)
55 to 59 year olds    7.1% (97,000)        7.1% (102,000)
60 to 64 year olds    6.5% (81,000)        4.8% (61,000)
65 year olds and over    5.8% (109,000)        6.8% (128,000

Like last month, these numbers indicate the emphasis for helping veterans with employment may need to add emphasis to the older veterans, especially those in their 50s and older as they now have higher unemployment numbers.

The publicity of younger veterans having problems promoted by the White House, the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC), National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), veteran service organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion (Legion), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Student Veterans of America (SVA) and veteran employment sites like VetJobs (www.vetjobs.com) has been very successful. Now the same attention needs to be directed towards older veterans.

Women Veterans

The unemployment rate for women veterans in July dropped to 6.6% (92,000) from June’s 7.6% (107,000). This is a decrease of 1.0% (15,000). This is good as the unemployment rate for women veterans had been climbing. In comparison, the unemployment rate for all women (veteran and non-veteran) in July was 7.3% (5,263,000), down from the June rate of 7.4% (5,370,000).

The unemployment rate for 18 to 24 year old women veterans in July was 8.3% (3,000) down from the June rate of was 9.0% (4,000). This was a decrease of 0.7% (1,000). In contrast, the unemployment rate for all 18 to 24 women (veteran and non-veteran) in July was 12.6% (1,241,000), down from the June rate of 14.6% (1,453,000).

Gulf War II Veterans

The unemployment rate for Gulf War II era veterans in July was 7.7% (166,000), up from the June rate of 7.2% (160,000), an increase of 0.5% (6,000). This reverses the downward trend in unemployment for the Gulf War II veterans.

Black Veterans

The unemployment rate for Black veterans in July dropped to 7.2% (102,000), down from the June rate of 10.3% (154,000). In contrast, the unemployment rate for all Blacks in July was 12.6% (2,329,000) which represents a decrease from the June rate of 13.7%, (2,549,000). These numbers lend credence to the benefits of minorities having joined the military!

Asian Veterans

The unemployment rate for Asian veterans in July was 5.1% (8,000), an increase from the June rate which was 4.2% (7,000). The Asian veteran unemployment rate had been steadily moving downwards before this increase. In contrast, the unemployment rate for all Asians is 5.4% (458,000).

Hispanic Veterans

The unemployment rate for Hispanic veterans in July was 7.3% (62,000), a marginal increase from the June rate which was 7.2% (67,000). In comparison, the unemployment rate for all Hispanics (veteran and non-veteran) in July was 8.9% (2,181,000), an increase from the June rate of 8.7% (2,144,000).

Reboot takes program for vets on road – SD program expands to Virginia, Seattle

(San Diego – May 27) A San Diego-grown nonprofit group that helps veterans move from boots into suits is expanding nationally.

RADM. Ronne Froman (ret) heads Reboot program designed to train returning vets “mentally” to get back into civilian life. It’s the first program of its kind focusing on cognitive behavioral training for veterans.

Reboot started in 2010 when retired Navy veterans Ronne Froman and Maurice Wilson saw former sailors and Marines struggling to figure out their place in the civilian world.

Their idea: Just like boot camp transforms recruits, service members need a “reverse boot camp” to go the other way.

The organization offers a three-week syllabus that aims to help people identify their passions and find fulfilling work related to those interests.

They also offer basic tips: How to write a resume, how to dress for the job you want, how to interview.

From that beginning, the Mission Valley-based program expanded to Oceanside and Orange County last year. This year, it added Los Angeles County and the Norfolk, Va., area, where the first class just graduated.

The goal for 2014 is to offer workshops in the Seattle area.

“Our initial plan was to expand in Southern California because of the close proximity to our headquarters, so we could work out any bugs in the Reboot mobile training team process,” said Maurice Wilson, Reboot president and a retired Navy master chief petty officer.

“Then, expand to strategic locations such as Norfolk and Seattle.”

Eastern Virginia and the Seattle-Puget Sound region are also big Navy clusters, so the nonprofit’s leaders can use their connections to broker Navy support. They have prepositioned instructors and program coordinators there in anticipation of growth.

Reboot is poised to graduate its 50th class. More than 800 people have been “rebooted” since 2010, officials said.

The plan is to raise enough funds to serve 960 people in 2013 and double that next year.

The workshops are free to the students, who are either post-Sept. 11 veterans or active-duty troops close to discharge.

The expansion is being funded by major donors Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Other funders include the Orange County Community Foundation, the Boeing Employees Community Fund, Citibank, the Stiefel Behner Revocable Trust and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego.

Wilson said there have been a few tweaks along the way. Based on student feedback, organizers added a resume workshop and extended the interviewing workshop to a full day.

Nationally, the employment picture for post-Sept. 11 veterans has improved after looking dismal for the past few years.

The 2012 unemployment rate for these younger veterans was 9.9 percent in 2012, down from 12.1 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Still, the figure remains higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 8.1 percent in 2012.

Read past U-T San Diego story on Reboot here.

REBOOT Workshop graduates first East Coast class

(VIRGINIA BEACH – By David Todd, The Flagship Managing Editor) National Veteran Transition Services, Inc. (NVTSI), a non-profit organization who developed the no-cost 15-day, three-week REBOOT transition workshops, graduated 10 individuals from its first East Coast class at Tidewater Community College (TCC) campus in Virginia Beach, May 24.

The workshop included active duty service members from commands in Hampton Roads, and those recently retired from service. Two additional workshops are planned for July and October.

“The response from this first class has been phenomenal,” said Maurice D. Wilson, former Navy master chief and now president and executive director for NVTSI and the REBOOT Workshops, noting that he believes there is definitely a need for the workshops in Hampton Roads with the large population of military and retirees in the area.

“The class is something that TCC would have loved to have developed,” said Dr. Bruce Brunson, executive director for the Center for Military and Veterans Education at TCC, who is helping to host the first three workshops at the college. “It fits right with what most of my staff would have designed and how they would have designed it.”

The REBOOT Workshops were designed specifically for military service members who are retired or in the process of transitioning from the military to a civilian life. The workshops discuss a wide range of topics, including employment, resume building, dressing for success, education, adjusting to new social environments, living arrangements, among others, which can leave some service members and their families in an unfamiliar situation. The workshops are also open to military spouses.

“The response from this first class has been phenomenal,” said Wilson. “We’re not trying to duplicate anything that anybody is doing – we’re just looking at filling that gap. One of the things that was not being done by anybody is the whole reverse boot camp [concept], which is not about reversing a job – getting a job is not a reverse boot camp – it’s about changing a person on a subconscious level so they can go from the military mindset to the civilian world and begin to fill in gaps themselves.”

Although each of the attendees progress at different rates throughout the course, Wilson said he has seen individual change as early as day one, but most see a significant change by third day. On day two, individuals are given a rubber wristband and are asked to practice removing negative thoughts from their vocabulary. If they have a negative thought, they are told to snap the wristband. In essence, if they aren’t thinking negative, they become a positive individual, which creates a new energy source inside them.

“This course, from day one, focuses on what your mentality is and what your attitude is … your drive, your behavior, and really, what you do,” said REBOOT graduate Senior Chief Information Systems Technician John Hand, from Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC). “Transition is a scary time for a lot of people. You are so used to doing stuff and this course really takes a more holistic approach.”

“It’s an invaluable course,” said REBOOT graduate Chief Hospital Corpsman Jose A. Nicola, an independent corpsman for Seal Team 8. “It’s a course that everybody needs to go to. I didn’t know what to expect from the beginning, but after the first week of being in the class, it was a clear picture of what it was going to offer.”

Wilson hopes that he will be able to continue to offer the REBOOT Workshops in Hampton Roads after this initial trial. He also feels that there is a need for workshops such as these across the country.

“The number of veterans in America today is about 23.4 million veterans,” said Wilson. “My vision is for REBOOT to be offered to all of them.”

NVTSI is a San Diego-based 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to assisting veterans in adjusting to civilian life and securing meaningful employment by combining evidence-based best-practice performance techniques.

The organization was established by a group of retired Navy and Marine Corps officers and workforce development professionals seeking to fill the tremendous gap in the continuum of veteran services.

Costs associated with providing the workshops are paid by contributions from local and national corporations, ensuring no cost to the service member or the U.S. government.

To register for upcoming classes or to learn more about the REBOOT Workshops, visit www.nvtsi.org.

Info box:

upcoming classes

July 15 (TCC Virginia Beach Campus)

October (TBD – TCC Suffolk Campus)

Visit www.nvtsi.org for more details

Service members, veterans being REBOOTed in Hampton Roads

REBOOT workshops help service members to make a successful social and career transition by addressing their fears and “rebooting” their skills. The National Veteran Transition Services, Inc. (NVTSI), a non-profit organization, launched a free pilot program May 6 for their 15-day, three-week transition workshops, at Tidewater Community College (TCC) Center for Military and Veterans Education in Virginia Beach.

(Hampton Roads – May 23) Story by David Todd, The Flagship. Making the transition from military-to-civilian life can be a difficult challenge for many of our nation’s heroes. Topics such as employment, education, adjusting to new social environments and even living arrangements can leave some service members and their families in a situation of unfamiliarity. That’s where REBOOT workshops can help make a difference.

After successfully implementing the no-cost REBOOT workshops in San Diego, National Veteran Transition Services, Inc. (NVTSI), a non-profit organization, launched a pilot program May 6 in Hampton Roads for their 15-day, three-week transition workshops, at Tidewater Community College (TCC) Center for Military and Veterans Education in Virginia Beach. Three initial sessions are currently scheduled through October with a goal of achieving 100 percent capacities for each.

“We have a really high concentration of veterans from all the different services in this area, and that is why we saw a need to start the classes here,” said Delta L. Hinson, associate regional director for REBOOT, and a retired Navy master chief with 30 years of active duty service. “We have a huge problem with unemployed veterans in this area, and really, that is common anywhere you go.”

According to Hinson, many service members leave the armed forces without a plan for the future.

“[Service members] are going into the unknown. You feel comfortable when you are in the military — you know what your job is, you’ve been trained,” he said, “and then all of a sudden you go into something you don’t have any experience with.”

After considerable moves through their military careers, and many times living on military bases/installations, ships, submarines and tents, reintegrating into the civilian world for those separated or about to be separated from the service can be a culture shock, and may even seem like a different language to some. REBOOT workshops help service members to make a successful social and career transition by addressing their fears and “rebooting” their skills.

The workshops are kept to a maximum of 25 individuals per session and focus on three main categories: Week one — Military-to-Civilian Personal Transition, Week two —Military-to-Civilian Lifestyle Transition and Week three — Military-to-Civilian Career Transition.

In week one, participants complete self-assessments to help them understand how their mind works — for and against them — and it provides them with the tools to help manage positive and negative thoughts, unlock their potential and achieve the goals they set.

Week two focuses on living situations and community-life functions. Through discussions and exercises, participants identify the personal aspects of values, talents and strategies needed to develop a plan to achieve a meaningful purpose and vision on life.

In the final week, employment, careers and education are addressed. Participants take career assessments to help them determine what career is the best fit for them, and give them insight on job preparation, resume writing, interviewing techniques, job searching and career planning through goal setting. Additionally, mock interviews with real-world human resource professionals allow participants to try out their newly acquired skills.

Hinson said many of the REBOOT’s graduates leave the course with a greater understanding of the skills and experience they have to offer future employers.

“You have a lot more [job experience] than you may think you have,” he said. “With military experience … whether it’s four years or 24 years, you have something to offer … get out there and seize the opportunity.”

To date, NVTSI has REBOOTed more than 700 service members through the workshops with a 98.2 percent success rate, which has allowed those service members to either obtain employment or enter an educational institution. Upon successful completion, graduates are provided with job matching assistance via their “Ready for Hire” initiative and job search site, access to a professional career coach if needed, on-going support through community partnerships, peer networking, monitoring for success and free refresher seminars.

The classes are not meant to be a replacement for the Navy’s Transition Goals, Plans and Success (Transition GPS) classes, but rather they are meant to give service members extra tools to ensure they have a successful transition into civilian life. NVTSI encourages individuals recently separated from service, service members within four months of anticipated separation, veterans and spouses to attend. If a service member is currently on active duty, no-cost Temporary Additional Duty (TAD) orders to the course are required by NVTSI.

“We are taking veterans … whether you are Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard or reserves … it doesn’t matter,” he explained. “If you are a veteran, you are eligible!”

NVTSI is a San Diego-based 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to assisting veterans in adjusting to civilian life and securing meaningful employment by combining evidence-based best-practice performance techniques.

The organization was established by a group of retired Navy and Marine Corps officers and workforce development professionals seeking to fill the tremendous gap in the continuum of veteran services.

Costs associated with providing the workshops are paid by contributions from local and national corporations ensuring no cost to the service member or the U.S. government.

The next workshop will begin July 15 at the Virginia Beach Campus and another workshop will be held in October (date to be determined) at the Suffolk campus To register for upcoming classes or learn more about the REBOOT Workshops, visitwww.nvtsi.org.