Disrupting the Veteran Employment Ecosystem by INvets’ Wes Wood

According to the Department of Defense, about 200,000 servicemembers transition to civilian life each year.

Once they leave the military, veterans are trying to grapple what kind of job they want, whether they should go back home or relocate, and more. At the same time, many veterans lack the skills necessary for seeking job opportunities.

According to the Department of Defense, about 200,000 servicemembers transition to civilian life each year.(1) Most people don’t realize that many veterans experience numerous challenges in that transition. These include the search for jobs in the civilian sector. During their time in the military, veterans often serve in concentrated areas, with little or no interaction or experience with the civilian side. But once they leave the military, veterans are trying to grapple what kind of job they want, whether they should go back home or relocate, and more. At the same time, many veterans lack the skills necessary for seeking job opportunities—resume writing, interviewing, and so on. The mandated transition assistance program provides a week-long workshop that teaches basic job-seeking skills. However, it is difficult to find time to attend and woefully inadequate for preparing veterans for civilian life.

But enter disruptor Wes Wood, Executive Director of INvets, who explains to KJ Helms, host of the Disruption / Interruption podcast, who says veterans still need help with their transitions to civilian jobs. In Indiana, his organization has made connections in every community throughout the state. They have leveraged other nonprofits and state agencies, thereby maximizing their reach to provide the “deep dive” help for the 20 percent of veterans that need it. For the other 80 percent of veterans seeking direction, INvets also provides a robust web-based tool for them to make job connections.

Wes explains:

1. Most people believe that there are many lucrative opportunities available. However, for veterans, the search can be challenging.

2. There are numerous challenges for individuals transitioning from military to civilian life and finding work. There is an adaptation process.

3. Some of the questions veterans contend with are: Where do they relocate to the post-military. Do they return home? Do they look at job boards for local positions, etc.?

4. Each year, between 200,000 and 300,000 veterans transition from military life to civilian life and a civilian job.

5. The majority of the people exiting the military don’t have a lot of time in the civilian sector and are often uncertain of what to do next.

6. All personnel exiting the military must go through the transition assistance program, a congressionally mandated program. It provides basic skills such as how to compose resumes.

7. As economic development has outpaced population growth in the Midwest, hiring veterans presents an excellent solution.

Disruption Interruption is the podcast where you’ll hear from today’s biggest Industry Disruptors. Learn what motivated them to bring about change and how they overcome opposition to adoption.

Disruption Interruption can be listened to via the Podbean app, and is available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

About Disruption Interruption:
Disruption is happening on an unprecedented scale, impacting all manner of industries— MedTech, Finance, IT, eCommerce, shipping and logistics, and more—and COVID has moved their timelines up a full decade or more. But WHO are these disruptors and when did they say, “THAT’S IT! I’VE HAD IT!”? Time to Disrupt and Interrupt with host Karla Jo “KJ” Helms, veteran communications disruptor. KJ interviews bad a**es who are disrupting their industries and altering economic networks that have become antiquated with an establishment resistant to progress. She delves into uncovering secrets from industry rebels and quiet revolutionaries that uncover common traits—and not-so-common—that are changing our economic markets… and lives. Visit the world’s key pioneers that persist to success, despite arrows in their backs at http://www.disruptioninterruption.com.

About Karla Jo Helms:
Karla Jo Helms is the Chief Evangelist and Anti-PR(TM) Strategist for JOTO PR Disruptors(TM).
Karla Jo learned firsthand how unforgiving business can be when millions of dollars are on the line—and how the control of public opinion often determines whether one company is happily chosen, or another is brutally rejected. Being an alumni of crisis management, Karla Jo has worked with litigation attorneys, private investigators and the media to help restore companies of goodwill back into the good graces of public opinion—Karla Jo operates on the ethic of getting it right the first time, not relying on second chances and doing what it takes to excel. Helms speaks globally on public relations, how the PR industry itself has lost its way and how, in the right hands, corporations can harness the power of Anti-PR to drive markets and impact market perception.

About INvets:
INvets is a nonprofit public/private partnership with the state of Indiana that’s all about attracting, retaining, and cultivating our state’s veteran workforce. INvets is dedicated to matching the nation’s veteran workforce and their spouses with rewarding, lucrative career opportunities here in Indiana. INVets has all the resources veterans and their families need to find purpose and prosperity—and is here to help them every step of the way. INVets can be found online at invets.org.

About Wes Wood:
After five years in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division as an infantry noncommissioned officer, Wes moved to Indianapolis to earn his MBA at Indiana University. Wes’ work with Conexus Indiana exposed him to the high demand employers across the state have for quality talent. Wes helped found INvets to connect those employers to the veteran population. Wes can be reached at wes@invets.org.

1. U.S. Government Accountability Office. “Transitioning Servicemembers: Information on Military Employment Assistance Centers.” 17 June 2019, gao.gov/products/gao-19-438r.

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