Helping Former Military Members Find Civilian Jobs

LAS VEGAS -- A recent $250,000 grant from MGM Resorts to the American Red Cross is helping to ensure more ex-military members find a job.

Organizers of the Boots to Business program say veterans may have great skills, but don't always know how to best present them to potential employers.

For Jonathan Wei, the Navy gave his life meaning and purpose.

"It let me change what my life would have been into what it is now and I'm eternally grateful to the navy for that," Wei said.

Wei earned a masters degree, is bilingual and has experience cracking codes, but for some reason, that didn't help him in the job market.

"I couldn't find any work at all and what people kept telling me is that my skills weren't directly transferable into a civilian career and because of this, I wasn't getting picked up," Wei said.

He was unemployed for two years until he found Boots to Business, a training course offered by the MGM and the Red Cross.

"To talk them through their resumes, expand on what their experiences are, coach what it is they've done in a way so that corporate America can better understand what they've done," Lloyd Ziel of the Red Cross said of the program's goals.

Fifteen veterans from the program can be found in many departments at MGM, including kitchen, front desk, and corporate.

Wei says the job has given him what he had in the Navy.

"Anytime they have an issue, being able to help them really gives me a sense of purpose, and really makes me feel like I have a place," Wei said.

A group of 40 veterans is going through the training course right now, and as many as 15 might receive direct job placements.


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