Veterans' Employment Services in Michigan: July 2021 Newsletter

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Veterans' Employment Services graphic, Priority of Service for Military Veterans, logos of U.S. military branches

July 2021

Veterans' Employment Services Newsletter


About Veterans’ Employment Services

VES logo

Welcome to the Veterans’ Employment Services (VES) Newsletter. Our mission is to assist you and your family secure meaningful careers in Michigan.

The concept of veterans helping veterans is a trademark of the VES team and one of the keys to its success. Veterans face many challenges when transitioning out of the military – finding meaningful employment should not be one of them.

  • Veterans in need of employment assistance should contact the nearest Michigan Works! One-Stop Service Center by calling 800-285-WORKS (9675) or visiting
  • More information about Veterans’ Employment Services is available at
  • Register today and start your job search at Pure Michigan Talent Connect at

VES works with MING on Veteran Transition Assistance

VES advisor speaking to transitioning Veterans

In response to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan National Guard (MING) deployed multiple task force groups to assist state and local health departments throughout Michigan. In addition to the medical staff giving the vaccinations, these teams also assisted with organizing the vaccination process, handling registration, data entry and the distribution of PPE.

Approximately 1,600 members of the Michigan Army National Guard participated in COVID-19 relief efforts across Michigan. As the relief efforts come to an end, these Soldiers are making the transition from Active-Duty service back to civilian life. According to a poll conducted by MING Leadership, approximately 1/3 of these servicemembers either do not have a job to go back to or are underemployed and seeking more suitable employment options.

Around 1,300 Guard members have already transitioned off military orders and reintegrated into their communities. There remains approximately 300 service members who will be leaving military orders by September 30.

To address the upcoming need, Randy Leffel, VES Intensive Services Coordinator, and Veterans’ Career Advisor Heather Johnson presented a program overview to over 50 of these transitioning servicemembers from MING on June 28 and 30. The presentation provided information on the VES program and how to access our services.

The VES team consists of highly skilled staff who are trained to assist veterans with the unique challenge of transitioning out of the military and into the workplace. These services include, but are not limited to, career guidance, staff assisted job search activities, Labor Market Information, Individual Employment Plans and employer outreach.

Veteran Secures Apprenticeship Via GST Michigan Works!

GST Michigan Works logo

"Deciding on a new path after the service can be a challenge and the GST Michigan Works! team was dedicated in helping me discover what choice were available. They provided endless resources and career opportunities with employers who prefer to hire Veterans and different tools and funds to help pay for training and travel.

GST Michigan Works! helped connect me to a network of individuals including a Veterans' Career Advisor, a Veterans' Employment Representative, an apprenticeship coordinator, and a career coach following my military service. All of these people were dedicated in helping me settle on what I wanted to do next – participate in a pre-apprentice program.

They assisted me with getting some of the necessary prequalified trainings most programs don’t offer, which enabled me to meet more people in the industry and become more competitive in qualifying for the apprenticeships. The connections offered by Michigan Works! are incredibly helpful in navigating what you want to do after military service.

Along with an overall introduction to the pre-apprentice program, I gained OSHA 30 training and certification  and learned to become situationally aware of safety hazards on sites. I also earned certification in hazardous waste worker training and learned about the fundamental operations in dealing with chemicals and dangerous materials that can affect your health. Added to these credentials, I trained on Infection Control Risk Assessment to qualify me to work in hospital construction settings."

- Danny

With generous contributions from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), GST Michigan Works! in partnership with The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) has been able to deliver a comprehensive apprentice readiness training program (Flint ECWTP) that prepares community residents to gain access in Building Trades registered apprenticeship programs. The training model ensures a more sustainable workforce in the construction industry and offers an advantage for workers who may not have previously considered construction trades as a career pathway. Class participants complete the NABTU Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3). The curriculum is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, offered in cooperation with state and/or local Building Trades Councils. It was developed and approved by the Building Trades National Apprenticeship and Training Committee.

This program was made possible by grant number U45-E8006185 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIEHS.

A Few Questions with...

Carrie Headworth

Carrie Headworth - Veterans' Career Advisor, Kalamazoo

How has your military experience helped you in your position as a VCA?

I started my career within the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program as a Veterans' Career Advisor in 2001 and just celebrated 20 years of service on July 21. Prior to that, I served in the U.S. Air Force as a Still Photographic Journeyman at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana from 1984 to 1989. My photography background allows me to help put customers at ease and be able to recognize signs of a distressed Veteran. By paying attention to the small details, I can see the whole picture and provide my customers with the resources they need to be successful.

What should Veterans expect when they meet with a VCA?

Veterans should expect to gain a rich and thorough avenue of assistance in overcoming barriers to employment. A veteran should feel as if they are in their First Shirt’s Office in the military, spilling out their ruck sack onto the desk to be sorted out: that veteran should feel like the VCA is someone who can be confided in to help them get back on track without being judged for what is inside their baggage. Veterans should feel like their personal and professional missions/objectives will be accomplished in as excellent a manner as possible. 

What resource do you recommend to Veterans seeking employment? 

Besides reaching out to a Veterans' Career Advisor, Veterans should contact their local Michigan Works! offices, which house multiple resources – and if any of them are federally funded, the Veteran gets to ask for “Priority of Service” to go first in line for those services, trainings, apprenticeships, certificates, etc.

Veterans Helping Veterans banner

GST and VES Partner to Assist Local Veteran

GST Michigan Works logo

“I was someone who thought they’d never need your services. I remember coming into your office with a ‘what the heck am I doing here’ feeling,” Rob Evoy recalls. “I was very emotional. A very bad day at work had resulted in me being unemployed. The bad guy was doing life in prison as I was dealing with life recovering from a broken neck.”

An altercation with a very large suspect under the influence of drugs in December 2012 caused what looked like a career ending injury. While trying to recover from his injury, Rob was required by the worker’s compensation company to actively seek employment and register at GST Michigan Works! 

During Rob’s visit to GST Michigan Works!, his Veteran status was noted and arrangements were immediately made for a one-on-one session. 

“She pointed me away from the crowd and I was taken to the Veteran side of things where I was able to tell my story to Rick and Ingrid in a private office. Rick walked me to another area of the building where he helped print all of my Veteran information and helped me create a wonderful resume for future use.” 

Rob continued to meet with Rick or Ingrid on a biweekly basis while seeking employment and dealing with the repeated frustration of job interviews where he was told he wasn't eligible for the position with his physical restrictions and the knowledge failing to continue to apply for work would result in forfeiture of his worker’s comp benefits. He was somewhat caught in limbo as a Veteran who was disabled, but not a disabled Veteran.

Rob's perseverance finally paid off on August 23, 2018 when he stood before the Lapeer County Commission being sworn in as Deputy Sheriff.

“Ingrid and Rick never gave up on me. Every email I would send was answered, every meeting I had with them was motivational and I never felt rushed to leave. We were in constant email contact through years of physical therapy and recovery.

I just thank Ingrid and Rick from the bottom of my heart. Please know that people appreciate what you do. You truly make a difference.”   

Veterans Can Watch Olympics for Free

Olympic rings

Military members, Veterans and their families can watch more than 5,500 streaming hours of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo for FREE, including all 41 sports and 339 medal events, through a partnership between the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Comcast NBCUniversal.

The access will be available to those authorized to shop at military exchanges, including the honorably discharged Veterans who are authorized to shop at online exchanges.

The Games of the XXXII Olympics are scheduled for July 23 through Aug. 8. The free offer also extends to the Paralympic Games, which will be held from Aug. 24 through Sept. 5, and feature 1,000 hours of streaming. 

Read more in the Military Times.

Virtual Job Fair Calendar banner

Check Out these Upcoming Job and Career Events

An up-to-date list of upcoming job and career events is available on Pure Michigan Talent Connect’s Career Events Calendar.

Educator Virtual Job Fair

August 5, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Event Link: Join the Virtual Event at

Connecting job seekers and those hiring teachers, substitute teachers, bus drivers, custodians, paraprofessionals, secretaries, administrators, and other education-related positions.


Central Region Virtual Career Fair for Veterans

August 10, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Event Link: Central Region Virtual Career Fair for Veterans (

A National recruiting event open to Military job seekers and their spouses. 


Detroit Veterans Job Fair (in-person event)

August 19, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Event Link: Find a job at the Detroit Veterans Job Fair 2021-08-19 | RecruitMilitary

Location: Ford Field – Hall of Legends Room, Club Level, 2000 Brush Street, Detroit, MI 48226

With over 36 registered employers across a variety of fields, this event is not to be missed. Parking is available on site for a small fee.


Metro Detroit Career Expo (in-person event)

August 31, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Event Link: Visit the Website

Location: Best Western Premier Hotel, 26555 Telegraph Rd, Southfield, MI 48033

The Metro Detroit Career Expo is open to statewide, local and national companies ready to interview candidates, accept resumes/applications and hire new employees


Virtual Job Fairs Count as Work Search Activity in Michigan
Registering for and attending Virtual Job Fair events supported by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity count as official work search activities required by the Unemployment Insurance Agency. Check out upcoming Virtual Job Fairs by visiting Pure Michigan Talent Connect’s Career Events website.

Event Success Tips

  • Be Prepared: Charge your phone and practice your elevator pitch.
  • Keep an Open Mind: You never know which company has the perfect job for you.
  • Work the Room: Stop by every booth and share your QR code with every organization.
  • Rule of 3: Get at least three company follow-ups.
  • Apply as You Network: Apply to open positions while you network with recruiters.
  • Smile: Be confident. You've got this!


If you are a veteran looking for information concerning education, health care, benefits or quality of life programs, please visit the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency for more information, or call the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center at 800-MICH-VET. 

LEO and Workforce Development co-brand logo

Veterans' Employment Services is part of Workforce Development, within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity's Office of Employment and Training.