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AETN, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services to host Veterans Job Readiness Workshop this weekend

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Arkansas Department of Workforce Services will host the Veterans Job Readiness Seminar Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Arkansas Workforce Center, 5401 South University, Little Rock.

The Veterans Job Readiness Seminar is a joint venture between the Arkansas Workforce Centers, Little Rock VA Regional Office Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Division (VR&E), AETN and Computer, Inc.

"In today's economic market, it is crucial that organizations partner to reach out and offer veterans resources and services they will need to re-enter the workforce," Jo Ellen Polite, employment coordinator for the VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, said. "Many veterans, like me, entered the military right out of high school, and therefore never had to look for work and/or develop job search skills while they served."

The seminar will teach veterans how to overcome barriers while seeking employment, such as translating military experience to qualifications easily understood by human resources specialists. AETN's adult education coordinator will teach veterans about writing a resume that gets results and share advice on acing a job interview. 

Other employment experts will present seminars specifically designed to prepare veterans for their job search, including how to develop a job search strategy, write both a master and targeted resume, market their skills, network, dress for success, prepare for interviews and more. Veterans will also learn about services and resources available to them.

"We have about 35 veterans' representatives around the state who assist veterans with finding employment," Department of Workforce Services Director Artee Williams said. "During the last year, staff at the Arkansas Workforce Centers assisted more than 17,000 veterans, eligible family members, and personnel who will soon transition out of the military into civilian life.

"Veterans' service to our country is commendable, and we want them to know that we are here to assist them with resumes, interviewing skills, training and finding a job."

Rick Michaud, a veteran who found employment through the Arkansas Workforce Centers, now serves as a veterans' representative at the Fayetteville center and assists veterans daily with their employment needs.

"In today's economic turmoil, the crosswalk from military service to civilian career tends to be met with many challenges," Michaud said. "The Arkansas Workforce Centers employ and train staff who have made the same transition and stand ready to assist.

"These professionals have developed the relationships and skill sets that, combined with intra-agency collaboration, can greatly assist veterans in overcoming any barriers in their transition."

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of February 2011, U.S. unemployment is at 8.9 percent, and Arkansas unemployment is at 7.8 percent.

Additional information is available by contacting: AETN Adult and Career Education Coordinator Yolanda Carman at 501-852-2621; Polite at 501-370-3772; Department of Workforce Services State Veteran Representative Kevin Smith at 501-682-8027; or Lee Bland at 501-683-2716. Veterans may also contact their nearest Workforce Center.

The Arkansas Workforce Centers strive to meet the employment needs of both employers and job seekers. Staff are ready to manage employers' job orders, screen applicants and make referrals, as well as help job seekers with resumes, interviewing skills and finding a job. More information is available at www.dws.arkansas.gov.

The VA Regional Office in North Little Rock provides a wide range of services, including determinations for entitlement to disability compensation and pension determinations, survivors' benefits, vocational rehabilitation and counseling, and various ancillary benefits. More information about the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program is available at www.VetSuccess.gov.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas's statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit www.aetn.org, or follow the AETN blog at www.aetn.org/engage. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).

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