NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The transition from the military to the civilian job force can be difficult, but a new center in Norfolk is promising to connect the two worlds and help military families find jobs.
The Hampton Roads Veterans Employment Center held its grand opening in Norfolk Friday morning.
Opportunity Inc. President and CEO Shawn Avery told WAVY.com that since they quietly opened the doors in January, they’ve already seen nearly 400 veterans and military spouses and have helped 21 find new jobs.
“You’re going to get one-on-one attention where we can use the computers, we can talk to them about educational opportunities if they’re looking for employment, we can talk to them about the jobs that are open in this area,” Avery said.
Congressman Scott Taylor, a retired Navy SEAL, cut the ribbon at Friday’s event.
He told WAVY.com he knows a lot of folks transitioning from military to civilian life will benefit from the center. He said many of his friends found the transition to be tough.
“Some of them, super high caliber, high quality folks, who were lost and were like ‘what am I going to do?’ They have no idea, so that’s why this is so important.”
The center is not just connecting veterans with businesses, it’s connecting businesses with vets, said Bryan Stephens, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce’s president & CEO.
“A lot of them try to establish their own veteran hiring program, but they find it very difficult because they don’t know where to start.”
Several businesses are now holding hiring events at the office located at 861 Glenrock Road,
and a number want to use the center as a tool to recruit the kind of workers they know will help their businesses grow.