As a veteran of the U.S. Army, Michael S., 47, understands what it means to work hard. But as so many people do, he found himself out of work. In February 2014, he turned to HVAF for housing. Once he had a roof over his head, his next goal was finding a job but finding employers who would take someone that didn’t have recent work experience, let alone any relevant work experience, was a difficult obstacle to overcome. In Indiana, the unemployment rate for veterans in 2013 was 6.7% and the post 9/11 veterans’ unemployment rate is 16.9% according to the Bureau Department of Labor. Michael’s Case Manager, Jerrika Pence, referred him to HVAF’s employment services where Employment Coordinator, Chasiti Herring, updated his resume and looked for jobs which fit his skill set. In January, he was hired on to work full-time as a 2nd shift forklift operator. Now, Chasiti is working with Michael again to help him to secure a full-time first shift position. “Michael has over 10 years of experience working as a certified CNC Machine Operator and as we do with all our veterans, we are looking for the right opportunity for Michael that is tailored to his unique skill set,” says Chasiti. “HVAF has helped give me more confidence to face the job market and a chance to achieve what I want most which is my own apartment,” says Michael. “The people at HVAF have the compassion and knowledge to help veterans. Without HVAF, I may not have been given this incredible life-altering opportunity.” “Finding work is an important part of building back confidence and pride and sustaining independence,” says Michael’s Case Manager, Jerrika Pence. Michael continues to have a positive outlook and is thankful to join the number of veterans served at HVAF through its employment services.
In 2014, 140 veterans met with an Employment Specialist at HVAF and 72% of clients successfully obtained employment with the assistance of HVAF’s employment services.