Veterans’ Employment Opportunities and Assistance

Written by Meghan Holland (’17) – Wake Forest School of Law Veterans Legal Clinic Student Practitioner

The military equips veterans with a plethora of skills that can be translated into assets in the workplace. When describing military job candidates some of the strengths noted by the organization, North Carolina for Military Employment, included leadership, character, effectiveness, and resiliency.[1] With these characteristics, and many more, veterans would be able to successfully surpass the needs of employers. In North Carolina, there are a variety of resources and events aimed at providing employment for veterans and aiding them in the process of translating their experiences in the military, into the skills employers are searching for in the civilian work place. This blog is an attempt to gather those resources into one place and describe what services they provide, in hopes that this will aid veterans in effectively searching for programs that will meet their needs.

One resource is the NC Workforce Commerce, which provides specific services for veterans.[2] This website allows an individual to visit NCWorks Career Center, which provides access to a variety of resources including access to job fairs, workshops, job interview preparation, and resume/cover letter assistance. Through NCWorks veterans can also be given the opportunity to job postings 24 hours before the jobs become available to the general public. NCWorks also links to an apprenticeship program.[3] The apprenticeship program allows the participant to combine classroom learning and on-site training. Important financial notes for the apprenticeship program are            that the participant is paid for the work they do and veterans are able to continue access the GI Bill income supplements to their own income while participating in the apprenticeship program. This resource would be most helpful as a starting point for a job search because it provides the ability to receive assistance on all aspects of the job-seeking process. Further assistance can be sought through the Gold Card Initiative, described below.

Another resource is NCVETSLEGAL which has compiled a list of resources related to veterans and employment opportunities.[4]  One resource noted is the North Carolina Division of Employment Security: Services for Veterans.(The NC DES)[5]  This resource would be helpful for veterans who are seeking training services or need assistance in ensuring that their job applications are receiving the appropriate priority. This resource also links to the Department of Labor website, which provides information about national resources.[6] The NC DES also directs veterans to the resources provided on the NCWorks website. Another resource noted by NCVETSLEGAL is Stateside Legal: REALifelines: Veteran’s Employement and Career Transition Advisor.[7]  This link would be most helpful for a veteran seeking one-on-one advice about the process of seeking civilian employment. A final initiative highlighted on the NCVETSLEGAL website is the Gold Card Initiative.[8] The Gold Card Initiative would be applicable to veterans who served post 9-11 and are currently unemployed.[9] This resource provides similar services to those provided by NC Works. Some of the services provided through the Gold Card Initiative are job readiness assessments, career counseling, and referrals to job openings. The Gold Card Initiative allows veterans to have access to the NC Works Career Centers and receive extra benefits from the career center. To locate a career center, just plug you zip code into a locator and the surrounding career centers will be listed.[10]

Other non-profit organizations also provide resources for veterans who are in the process of seeking employment. One example is Patriots Path, which offers a five part course designed to help veterans transition to civilian employment in the Charlotte area. The course costs $25 and provides five weeks of trainings, where veterans are able to receive one-on-one mentoring, interest assessments, as well as covering a variety of topics related to job searching and success in the workplace.[11] This resource would be most helpful for a veteran with the ability to attend all of the classes. Another class option, is the Veterans Entrepreneurship Advantage, which is offered at Wake Tech.[12] Although, the 8 week course has already begun for the Fall of 2016, this course would be beneficial for a veteran interest in opening a small business.


[1] NC4VETS Resource Guide, Page 23.