Veterans' Employment Services in Michigan: February 2022 Newsletter

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

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

February 2022

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

Black History Month: The Tuskegee Airmen Who Paved the Way for Today's Military Leaders

Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of primarily African American military pilots (fighters and bombers) and airmen who fought in World War II. They formed the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces.

The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks, and other support personnel. Their efforts help paved the way for:

  • 1940: The U.S. Army gets its first Black general.
  • 1979: The U.S. Army gets its first Black female general.
  • 1989: The U.S. sees its first Black Chairman for the Joint Chief of Staff.
  • 2000: A black woman is the first female fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
  • 2001: The U.S. gets its first Black Secretary of State.
  • 2015: A Black woman becomes the first Black Surgeon General of the Army.
  • 2021: A four-star general is named the first Black Secretary of Defense.

Employment Readiness Series: Cover Letters, References and Following Up

March 1 employment readiness flyer

Check out the next Employment Readiness Series on March 1, 2022 from 11 a.m. to noon. Veteran Career Advisor Deborah Bohanon will lead a presentation about drafting a compelling cover letter, how to include your references and when to follow up.

Register for the event here.

The Michigan Veterans' Employment Services and the Michigan National Guard Family Programs teams have partnered to ignite the potential of our stakeholders through weekly tips and monthly presentations.

Michigan Department of Corrections is Hiring!

MDOC officer

The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) is currently hiring Corrections Officers, Food Service Workers, Qualified Mental Health Professionals, Psychologists, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Skilled Trades, and more! 

Facility staff and MDOC's Recruitment Section are hosting hiring events at facilities across the state. They are offering on-the-spot interviews and application assistance for the Corrections Officer positions. 

View the full list of events here or contact Veteran Liaison Darrick Alvarez, Michigan Department of Corrections: 

Office Phone: 517-335-1863
Cell Phone: 517-927-2556

Attendees should bring an up-to-date resume, a list of three references, and a state-issued ID. Business attire is preferred, however, all applicants interested in becoming a Corrections Officer should bring a change of clothes for the PT test. A t-shirt, shorts and athletic shoes are recommended. 

Jason Albert

A Few Question With ...

Jason Albert  Veterans' Career Advisor, Jackson

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

I find it easier to communicate with other veterans because we all have a lot of the same background and a common language. I also find that conversations about their military background opens veterans up and puts them more at ease.

What should Veterans expect when they meet with a VCA?

They should expect empathy and professionalism. We need to try and understand their situation the best we can without judgement and be exemplary professionals. Additionally, the veteran should see us facilitating pre-vocational and career coaching activities while also collaborating with the Michigan Works Agency.

What resource do you recommend to Veterans seeking employment? 

I always recommend that veterans use the ONET online resources to help them translate their military occupational specialties into civilian terms to better assist them in building their resume.

Secretary of State Offers Veteran Designation for Michigan Licenses and ID Cards

Veteran designation on license

The Michigan Secretary of State offers a veteran designation on licenses and state ID cards to give veterans an easy and optional way to show their veteran status to receive discounts from businesses.

Eligible veterans may get the word "Veteran" printed in red on the front of their card by visiting any Secretary of State office or when renewing through the mail at no additional charge. 

The designation also allows the Secretary of State to partner with Veterans’ Employment Services to provide referral information, so veterans are more aware of what resources and services are available to them. Read more about veteran designation and veteran/military service plates

Easily Obtain a Military Commercial Driver's License

person in army fatigues driving truck

Contact your local Secretary of State to apply for a military waiver even exchange. The Commercial Driver’s License even exchange waiver form may be used by service members who are currently licensed and who are or were employed within the past 12 months in a military position requiring the operation of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a Commercial Motor Vehicle.

This waiver allows a qualified service member to apply for a CDL Class A or B without the need for written knowledge testing or skills testing. 

Veterans Helping Veterans banner

Veteran Success: Finding The Perfect Job

William Ennis

William Ennis led a successful career as the Executive Director of Westside Food Bank in Arizona until he retired and moved to the Upper Peninsula with his wife. The Vietnam Veteran then decided he wanted to support and serve his country by working for the U.S. Census, requiring William to go to his local Michigan Works! office and apply.

The Michigan Works! staff identified William as veteran and he was eventually connected to Veterans' Career Advisor (VCA) Aaron Lindholm. 

With Aaron's help, William quickly became job ready an was referred to Local Veterans' Employment Representative (LVER) Kendal Kettle for dual case management supportive services. Kendal and Aaron utilized a people-centered approach to provide William the best support and services to ensure his success.   

Both Aaron and Kendal helped William research and apply for local opportunities. William turned down several jobs offers during his employment search to find the one that would fulfill his goal of a meaningful career where he could continue to serve. After a series of conversations and strategic planning with VES staff, William was encouraged to apply for the recently-vacated VCA position in his hometown of Hancock.

William has now joined those who helped him from VES, and together, they will serve veterans just like William.

William’s story is a great example of how even well qualified veterans may need to apply for, interview, and consider multiple opportunities during their employment search to find the perfect fit. The collaboration between UP Michigan Works! and VES ultimately removed barriers and successfully placed another veteran into their dream career.

Military Environmental Exposure to Hazardous Materials

VBA PSA banner

Exposure to contaminants or environmental hazards during military service affects veterans of all eras. The VBA is dedicated to increasing awareness of military environmental exposure to hazardous materials and encourage the filing of related claims.

Watch this short public service announcement to learn more. 

Program Helps People Who've Lost Their Job to Foreign Trade

Heather's TAA video

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal program that assists workers who have lost or may lose their jobs as a result of foreign trade. TAA provides adversely-affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, credentials, resources and support necessary to become reemployed.

This includes job training, career counseling, wage supplements for older workers, job search and relocation allowances, and income support for workers in an approved training program. 

TAA has already helped numerous Michiganders, including Heather. Watch this short video to see how TAA was able to help her. And for more information about TAA, go to

Scholarship Program Helps Working-age Adults Gain New Education, Skills


After facing significant challenges throughout her life, including time in the foster care system and living on her own while trying to graduate from high school, Shelby Essenmacher always thought obtaining a college education and a fulfilling career with a good paycheck were out of her reach.

That is, until the native Detroiter learned about the Michigan Reconnect scholarship program. Michigan Reconnect is the largest effort in state history to ensure that Michiganders who are 25 or older and don't have a college degree have an opportunity to earn an associate degree or skills certificate with free or deeply discounted tuition.

"This is a life changer. I can now seriously go after my dream of becoming a nurse without worrying about the cost of tuition, which has always been a major obstacle preventing me from going back to school," Shelby said.

Shelby is among the 91,000 Michiganders accepted into Michigan Reconnect since its launch in February 2021 and one of 12,000 scholarship participants currently working towards a degree or skills certificate through the program. She is taking advantage of the program to pursue an Associates of Applied Science in Nursing degree at Wayne County Community College District.

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.

Newberry Correctional Facility

March 1, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 
Event Address: 501 W. Harrie St., Newberry, MI 49868

The Michigan Department of Corrections is hiring Corrections Officers, Food Service Workers, Qualified Mental Health Professionals, Psychologists, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses and more!


Marquette Branch Prison

March 2, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.  
Event Address: 1960 U.S. Highway 41 South, Marquette, MI 49855

The Michigan Department of Corrections is hiring Corrections Officers, Food Service Workers, Qualified Mental Health Professionals, Psychologists, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses and more!


Accounting Virtual Hiring Event

March 2, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
Event Link: Register using this link

Looking for entry- and mid-level accounting candidates in Washtenaw County. $20-$30 per hour, depending on experience and position. 


Statewide Recruitment Event for Corrections Officers

March 8, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. 
Event Address: Ramada Hotel - 7501 W. Saginaw Hwy, Lansing, MI 48917

The Michigan Department of Corrections is hiring Corrections Officers, Food Service Workers, Qualified Mental Health Professionals, Psychologists, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses and more!


CDL Driver Hiring Event

March 9, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
March 10, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Event Link: Attend using this link

Speak with the AgroLiquid team about the great work/life balance and amazing benefits. 


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!

Health and Other Resources


Health Resources

Additional Resources

Health Benefits: 877-222-8387
Other VA Benefits: 800-827-1000

Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255
Homeless Services: 877-424-3838

Health Benefits

Veterans Crisis Line 

Mental Health

Homeless Services


Readjustment Counseling (Vet Centers) 

Disease Prevention

Compensated Work Therapy

Women Veterans Health Care

Substance Abuse Programs

Geriatrics and Extended Care

National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
Rural Health 


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.