Despite all of COVID-19’s challenges, HVAF’s Employment Team hasn’t slowed down.
“We didn’t stop, we didn’t slow down,” Employment Coordinator Kiara said. “We were still able to get people placed, and get people employed and give them the assistance that they need.”
As Employment Coordinator, Kiara is in charge of the team’s five case workers. They help any veteran who walks through HVAF’s doors. Each case worker helps the veterans with interview prep, resume help, and job application assistance.
“Anything related to employment we are going to help them with it,” Kiara said. “And we are very individualized with those we are working with.”
This team did an incredible job in 2020, as they secured employment for 190 veterans! And the momentum hasn’t stopped in 2021. One veteran they have employed this year is Army veteran Tiffany.
“Tiffany was homeless and jobless when she came here,” Tiffany’s employment specialist, Roxane, said.
In addition to receiving employment assistance from Roxane, Tiffany also paired up with one of HVAF’s social workers – Dorian. Thanks to funding HVAF received in the beginning of COVID, Dorian could easily place Tiffany, her partner, and two little children in a hotel temporarily. While staying at the hotel, Dorian is working to find her a place to call to home.
When Tiffany first came to Roxane, she had gotten a job at Speedway to make ends meet for the time being. But she wanted to find a second shift job with better pay and hours. Roxane knew this was a realistic goal that they could achieve together.
In January, Tiffany started working for Saint-Gobain Abrasives’ warehouse in Plainfield. This job met all of her expectations: great pay, benefits, second shift, and working for a great company!
Throughout this entire process, Roxane has actually never met Tiffany.
“We were able to complete everything with emails and phone calls,” Roxane said. “Working with Tiffany was really easy because I just sent her the information on different job leads, and she would look it over and decide what she would apply for.”
Roxane has been able to do a lot of work for her veterans over phone and e-mail this last year.
“I send out job leads to everyone on my caseload at least once a week. It’s quite a bit and they can review that over,” Roxane said. “We were definitely social distancing and not having veterans come in here very much – it’s amazing that we were still able to get 190 veterans into employment!”