DENVER, Colo., April 8, 2013 – Veterans Green Jobs, a nonprofit organization that puts veterans to work in the green economic sector, is expanding its operations in California to reach more unemployed veterans who are seeking employment and training opportunities. Veterans Green Jobs will soon open a Los Angeles office. On March 1, it hired personnel to operate its veteran employment program serving the Los Angeles region.
Positioning its operations in southern California is a strategic move that will allow Veterans Green Jobs to increase its access to employers for partnership building, and its reach to job-seeking veterans. “With the opening of our operations in Los Angeles, we’ll be able to better serve the approximately one hundred thousand unemployed veterans in California and thousands of active duty service members who are stationed there,” said John Toth, senior director of Veteran Programs for Veterans Green Jobs. “Being on the ground in California allows us the opportunity to provide veterans with one-on-one counseling and other career services that can put them ahead in the civilian job-seeking marketplace.”
Veterans Green Jobs has hired Paul Aranda to be a full-time career counselor in Los Angeles. Aranda is a post-9/11 Army veteran who served with the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis in Washington. In his new role, Aranda will work with veterans individually and guide them through the job search process, leveraging personal connections with human resource managers and breaking down barriers to hiring. Additionally, he will serve as a recruiter for Veterans Green Jobs’ employment and outdoor conservation programs at local job fairs and veteran events.
Veterans Green Jobs has also hired Chris Gallas, a U.S. Navy veteran, to serve as an industry liaison. Focused on partnering with green industry companies in California, Gallas will ensure a significant base of jobs to offer to veterans. He will collaborate with partner companies to increase their understanding of veterans, provide educational services to human resource departments and assist in the hiring process.
Veterans Green Jobs will co-locate its Los Angeles operations with GRID Alternatives, a California-based nonprofit solar installation organization which has a partnership with Veterans Green Jobs to create training and employment opportunities for veterans. Veterans Green Jobs has also formed partnerships with other solar installation companies in California, including SolarCity. It also partners closely with the California Conservation Corps to equip military veterans with training and hands-on experience in outdoor conservation and wildland firefighting and prepares them for job opportunities in the natural resources field. In 2012, Veterans Green Jobs opened an office in northern California to recruit military veterans for outdoor conservation and wildland firefighting training programs throughout California and parts of Nevada.
In January 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the youngest post-9/11 veterans, those ages 20-24, are unemployed at a rate of 31.4 percent, the highest rates of all age groups. The post-9/11 veterans ages 25-29 and 35-39 are unemployed at rates of 14.8 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively. The overall unemployment rate for all Americans (population 16 and over) was at 7.9 percent. More than one million veterans are projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016, placing increased demands on the workforce.
Veterans who get in touch with Veterans Green Jobs’ employment program receive one-on-one counseling to create an employment pathway that meets their needs. Career counselors assess veterans’ current skills and military experience, provide coaching to help them refine and shape their resume in order to match available job openings, and recommend any needed training or education to develop skills. Then, the program connects veterans with employers who need skilled workers and have job openings, and stays in touch to ensure a good fit.
Veterans Green Jobs publishes a weekly e-newsletter, The Jobs Page, which provides announcements about job opportunities, training and education opportunities, and upcoming events. Veterans may sign up at www.veteransgreenjobs.org/interest-form. The Jobs Page is also available at www.veteransgreenjobs.org/the-jobs-page.
In support of its expansion efforts, Veterans Green Jobs has received funding from the Call of Duty Endowment, the Annenberg Foundation/Metabolic Studio and the Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation.
About Veterans Green Jobs
Veterans Green Jobs is a national nonprofit whose mission is to engage, transition and connect military veterans with meaningful employment opportunities that serve our communities and environment. With programs in eight states, Veterans Green Jobs offers training and hands-on experience, directly employs veterans and offers a national job placement model. View the corporate video on YouTube.