Wednesday, October 05, 2022

THE VETERANS' PRESS: Idaho Department of Labor Post Falls office supports veterans in need

| September 20, 2022 1:00 AM

Steve, a recently retired veteran from the Idaho National Guard, didn’t think attending a job fair would change his life. But it did. He found a job and now he is a recruiter for the company that hired him.

To get there, Steve reached out to an Idaho Department of Labor’s disabled veteran outreach program workforce consultants — or veteran representative.

Other veterans like him are being referred to the company from the same veteran representative who assisted Steve.

A career change

Dave, also a veteran, was looking for a career change in the medical industry and wondered if he could find education support. By working with the Kootenai County Veterans Council, Dave discovered he was eligible for educational benefits through the GI Bill. Dave was referred to the veteran representatives at North Idaho College who helped him map out a course to become a registered nurse.

These are just a few stories illustrating how veterans can find support in North Idaho, and across the state and the U.S.

United States veterans face several unique challenges reintegrating into civilian life after service. Finding meaningful employment opportunities to support themselves’ and their families is a challenge. That’s where the Department of Labor’s veterans employment and training services comes in.

Veteran representatives, such as the those who worked with Steve and Dave, help local veterans find meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities. Veteran representatives interview and assess veterans knowledge, skills and abilities to help guide their job search activities. If the veteran has significant barriers to employment, the veteran representative works to find employment opportunities to accommodate those disabilities. The veteran representative may provide referrals to other veteran service providers, tapping into the broad network of veteran-specific organizations.

Through a network of referral agencies, veterans can receive assistance to overcome some of their barriers to become successful in their post-military careers.

There are a multitude of veteran organizations in North Idaho offering support and services. The Kootenai County Vet Council shares information about their programs at a monthly meeting with other veteran-related organizations.

Some of these organizations include the Idaho and Kootenai County Veteran Service Officers, St. Vincent De Paul, Newby-ginnings of North Idaho, North Idaho College Veteran & Military Family Services, North Idaho Veterans Stand Down, Hayden Veterans Commission, North Idaho Veterans Assistance League, Marine Corps League, Vet Center and most of the local Veteran of Foreign Wars and American Legion Posts.

With an estimated 23,000 veterans in North Idaho alone, these services are here to help veterans in need.

To learn more about our veterans services, contact the Idaho Department of Labor Post Falls office at 208-457-8789 and ask to speak to a veteran representative.

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