Success Stories Archive

J4VETS Connects Veteran to Hiring Manager

Silke Edwards, a U.S. Army veteran, resigned her commission as an officer 15 years ago. She developed and interest in social services, after leaving the Army, and volunteering with military family support organizations. When Silke's husband retired, she decided to re-enter the workforce. Her efforts to find a social work position proved unsuccessful. A friend suggested she contact Fairfax SkillSource Center in Reston, where she learned about the J4VETS program. She enrolled in September 2013, and quickly received a job lead in her desired field. A month later, Silke was offered a Homeless Management Information System Support Specialist position with Fairfax County’s Office to Prevent and End Homelessness. Silke attributed J4Vets program staff with her job search success and stated, “Their ability to connect directly to the hiring manager, instead of applying through Human Resources, made all the difference.”

Best Career Move

Rick Ferry, an honorably discharged military veteran, was laid off in June 2013. Having no success landing an interview, he attended a Northern Virginia Jobs for Veterans (J4VETS) program orientation. Rick expressed interest in Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, and within three months completed training at Northern Virginia Community College. A Veteran’s recruiting event connected him to Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC).  He was hired as NVTC’s Manager of Veterans’ Employment and Strategic Initiatives in January 2014. Rick stated, “Without your consistent support I would not have successfully prepared for, identified or secured what I predict will be the best career move of my life.”

Training Key to Veteran’s Career Success

“J4VETS has been a blessing and was instrumental to my becoming employed again," declared Karl Scotland, a U.S. Navy veteran. After being downsized by his previous employer, Karl learned about the SkillSource J4VETS program at a job fair.  Enrolled in June 2013, his Case Manager quickly helped pinpoint strengths and connected him with IT training to enhance his skills. In July 2013, within a week of completing his CISCO Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) course, Karl landed a new position. He was hired by iDirect, Inc. as an IT Consultant / Field Service.  J4VETS was also able to pay his transportation costs for the first few weeks of his employment. 

Citizenship to CDL

After one-on-one support from the PWCS Adult Education Program, at the Prince William SkillSource Center, Mohamed Bangura, a Sierra Leone immigrant prepared for and passed his USCIS interview and has become an American citizen. Mohamed also earned a Certificate of Completion in Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Job Readiness Training. He created his first-ever resume with help from Center staff.

In June 2014, Mohamed entered the Workforce Investment Act Program with a goal to get his CDL license. He interviewed for a school bus driver position and has an interested employer when he passes the CDL exam. Mohamed is determined to advance his career and help his family. He said, “Because of the war in my county, I could not go to school to learn to read and write. Now I have four kids to support and need a better job so I can help my family. In my country I had no opportunities. Now, at the PW SkillSource Center I can reach my dreams.”

Race To GED

Alonso Sosa from Woodbridge, enrolled in the WIA Youth Program after seeing a “Race to GED” sign in the Prince William SkillSource Center’s window. He sought help with math and passed the GED exam in October 2013. He returned to get assistance with his resume. “I don’t have a home computer so I created [a resume] here, emailed it to IKEA, and got a job interview right away,” he explained. While working part-time, Alonso is now enrolled in the WIA Youth Pharmacy Tech Program that includes on-the-job training.



Summer Intern Defies Own Expectations

Mark Cole was interested in Auto Mechanics but had never had a job and was skeptical about the summer work program. Despite his initial doubts, Mark thrived in the program and found it rewarding. He learned workplace communication and conduct skills, as well as how to change oil, balance and change tires, and basic tune-up and radiator skills.  Despite Mark’s initial expectations, he not only finished the program, but was offered a job. Mark accepted and worked part-time, while finishing his senior year of high school. He is also enrolled as a year round WIA youth participant and is on schedule to begin a ASE certification as an Auto Mechanic through Northern Virginia Community College upon completion of his high school diploma.