Transitioning from Military Service? Employment Navigators Can Help
Anthony and Yasmin’s story
Anthony, a U.S. Army soldier stationed at Army Garrison Bavaria in Germany, and his wife, Yasmin, needed a plan. Their goal was to return to their home state of Florida and both find meaningful employment in in-demand information technology fields. But being thousands of miles away from home was making the prospect of job searching feel particularly daunting.
As a first step, Anthony attended the Transition Assistance Program workshops to prepare for civilian life, which are led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (known as VETS). During the workshops, Anthony learned how the VETS Employment Navigator and Partnership Pilot could help identify good fit careers and make connections.
After meeting with Employment Navigator Natali Esteves in Bavaria, Anthony was impressed by the time she took to listen to his goals and interests. “What the Employment Navigator has built is special,” said Anthony. “You need that one-on-one time.”
He encouraged Yasmin to make an appointment with her as well.
“Within the first two minutes, I just felt completely welcomed,” Yasmin said of her first appointment with Natali. “It was nice to feel seen and heard as a military spouse.”
Natali worked with Anthony and Yasmin individually to break down the current labor market, exploring career options, assist them with tailoring their resumes, and provide referrals and connections to additional employment resources, partners and services.
She also connected them both with an Apprenticeship Placement Counselor through the VETS Apprenticeship Pilot, who then helped Anthony and Yasmin apply for a pre-apprenticeship program to begin preparing them for careers in information technology.
Anthony’s service separation in January 2022 is now a milestone they eagerly anticipate. That's because following their pre-apprenticeship program, they will be eligible to start as paid apprentices in the IBM Z® registered apprenticeship program — a major step toward their long-term employment goals.
What are Employment Navigators and how can I talk to one?
Employment Navigators are professionals who provide one-on-one, personalized services and resources to interested transitioning service members and their spouses. They are available as early as 365 days prior to separation or 2 years prior to retirement. Find out if there is an Employment Navigator at your installation and view all of our transition curriculum and related resources here.
I'm interested in an apprenticeship. Where can I learn more?
Visit apprenticeship.gov to explore opportunities near you or in your field of interest. You can also explore apprenticeship resources just for veterans and service members.
Tim Winter is the director for the transition assistance program in the department’s Veterans Employment and Training Service. Follow VETS on Twitter at @VETS_DOL.