Veterans & Employment: A Success Story - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Veterans & Employment: A Success Story

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Representative Kevin Cramer's (R-ND) newly formed Veterans Advisory Board will be taking a look at employment challenges facing returning veterans, among other issues.  KX caught up with one veteran who's been through one of North Dakota's employment programs for vets to hear what he had to say about his experience.

"In the military, you get an order, and you follow an order, so you learn to obey, basically, what your boss tells you.  In the military, you don't have a lot of choice in the matter, but I think it develops a habit," says Howard Adao, Vietnam Veteran, USAF.  The skills and habits developed by Adao still serve him well decades later.  He's found employers like 103 year old Strata Corporation appreciate the commitment that comes with military-trained individuals.  "They've already joined the military.  You know they're committed.  We like people who are going to be committed to Strata Corporation and committed to North Dakota," says Julie Magnus, Hiring Coordinator, Strata Corporation.

Helping along the way is North Dakota Job Service -- where a vet's age is not a factor.  "Some of the veterans that come in, they're transitioning members, so they might be younger, maybe in their twenties.  And then we have all the up through Vietnam veterans where their skills are maybe a little outdated," says Keli Berglund, Job Service North Dakota.  "It's a great system, and I've taken classes there -- how to write a resume, how to go through interviews, and even the different people you'll be in contact with.  They'll give you helpful hints," says Adao.

Job Service reports there are 20,000 open jobs in North Dakota -- not all in oil country.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) has been actively spreading the word to active duty military looking for a place to live and work after their service:  "The organizational skills that they've acquired in the American military it absolutely fits with what we need out here.  They, of course, lead with the inevitable, 'I'm from Florida, is it going to be too cold?'"

Says Adao, "I like working with vets.  If I'm on a job site and there are other veterans there, we have kind of a camaraderie, I guess, and we also have the same attitude.  We're going to get the job done no matter what it takes."

Job Service's SkillBuild program is designed to assist veterans and Native Americans seeking training and education for particular jobs.  It is available through June of 2014.  


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