Veterans' Employment Services in Michigan: April 2022 Newsletter

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

April 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

Promoting a More Inclusive Michigan Through Autism Acceptance Month

Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month in Michigan, and Michigan Rehabilitation Services would like to use this occasion to spotlight and celebrate the many ways individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder enrich our world, as well as to promote resources available to support families impacted by ASD.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S., affecting more than five million people. Youth with autism have been identified as the primary emerging population of individuals with a disability in Michigan that is either currently or predicted to be underserved.

While treatments and education for children are critical towards improving outcomes for this population, eventually, individualized and customized support and comprehensive training – such as those provided by Michigan Rehabilitation Services – are needed to obtain, maintain and advance employment opportunities.

Take a look at the variety of ASD-related resources you may find helpful:

Employment Readiness Series: Employers with Veteran Hiring Programs

May 22 Employment Readiness flyer

Join Veteran Employment Representative James Grose for the next installment of the Employment Readiness Series on Tuesday, May 3 from 8-9 p.m. James will give a presentation about the Hire Vets MVAA MI Veteran Friendly Employer Program in partnership with the Michigan National Guard Family readiness program.  

Register for the virtual 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 Health and Human Services - Veteran Navigators

MDHHS veteran navigator banner

Veteran Navigators was created to assist veterans and military families of ALL eras and discharge types. They work to connect veterans and their families to federal, state and local resources to ease issues regarding mental health, substance abuse, housing and other common issues that impact veterans in order to support healthier lifestyles and provide support.

Veteran Navigators service different parts of the state. Find your local Veteran Navigator.

A Few Questions With...

Jamie Fornwalt

Jamie Fornwalt, VCA, Mount Pleasant

What is your educational background and career experience?

I was in the U.S. Navy for more than nine years and then attended the Military Law Enforcement Academy at San Antonio, Texas. I then attended Delta College and Saginaw Valley State University and am almost done completing my degree in Criminal Justice. 

After I was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1999, I took a job working with juvenile delinquents for 13 years. I then went on to work in Michigan Department of Corrections, where I had been for the last nine years.

What is your role and responsibilities?

I am a Veterans' Career Advisor covering the Mt. Pleasant and Alma Michigan Works! Services Centers. I provide intensive employment services through case management to qualified veterans with barriers to employment.

What one experience would like to share?

I got to land on the carrier, USS Kitty Hawk in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. What an awesome experience!

FREE Rock Concert at Turtle Creek Stadium for Area Veterans and their Families

Turtle Creek rock concert flyer

Grand Traverse County Veterans Affairs is hosting a FREE rock concert for area veterans and their families at the Turtle Creek Stadium on Saturday, June 18, 2022 from 5:30-10pm. The show will feature headliner Creedence Revived and Amelia Airharts as the opening act.

Tickets are complimentary for all veterans and their families at:

  1. Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel Players Club on M-72 East in Williamsburg
  2. Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge Players Club on M-22 in Peshawbestown
  3. Grand Traverse County Veterans Affairs Office on Lafranier Road in Traverse City
  4. VA Clinic on M-37 South in Traverse City

Proof of veteran status (discharge paper, VA healthcare card, membership card to AMVETS, DAV, VFW, etc.) must be presented to obtain tickets.

VA Awards $525,000 in Grants to Improve Transitional Housing Facilities in Gaylord

Gaylord transitional housing facility

The National Homeless Program Office will award one grant to Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, totaling approximately $525,000 under the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program.

The new grants support capital improvements to existing GPD transitional housing facilities and help vulnerable Veterans achieve residential stability, improve their skill levels, increase their income, and obtain greater self-determination. 

“The goal of this transitional housing program is to prepare veterans for permanent housing,” stated Carly Huffman, Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center’s Homeless Program Manager. “The improvements made under this grant will not only enhance the housing environment for veterans, but also improve overall service delivery. This grant is another step forward in effectively ending veteran homelessness in this community.”

Read the full story here.

Veterans Helping Veterans banner

Veteran Success: VES and Michigan Works! Staff Work Together to Remove All Veteran's Barriers

Daniel Schwaderer

After being laid off in Fall 2021, Daniel Schwaderer, a U.S Navy Veteran with an extensive background in construction, visited the Sault Sainte Marie Michigan Works! Service Center. He began working with Veterans' Career Advisor William Mourufas on a personalized career exploration and employment plan. 

During a comprehensive assessment, Daniel revealed he was unable to get to work because his car needed significant repairs. William moved quickly to find resources to help Daniel with his transportation barrier.

William connected with Mari Schupp from Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! who works to qualify clients for access to Barrier Removal Employment Success (BRES) funds. Mari and Talent Specialist Amanda Methot went to work exploring the BRES funding with Daniel.

Amanda was able to secure the $900 maximum funding available to put towards Daniel's $3,392.22 repair bill. She then continued to look for additional resources and eventually enrolled Daniel in the WIOA Adult Program. The remaining $2,492.22 was secured by Michigan Works! staff to pay the remaining balance for repairs and help Daniel overcome his transportation barrier.

With his car issues out of the way, William and Daniel got to work on a job search plan that focused on cover letters, resumes and interview activities. Within a short time, Daniel was offered a job as a shift supervisor making $25 per hour for a local construction company and a position with Allegheny Commercial Doors making $70,000 per year!

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.

G.I. Jobs Virtual Career Expo

April 27, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Event Link: Register using this link

Don't miss this opportunity to speak with more than a dozen recruiters from companies of all sizes during this virtual event! These recruiters know the value of hiring veterans and are looking for you to join their ranks.


Novi Career Expo

May 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. online, 12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. in-person  
Event Link: Register using this link
Event Address: 
Novi Civic Center Atrium - 45175 Ten Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375

Update your resume, refresh your introduction conversation and join Oakland County Michigan Works!, Novi Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Novi for a chance to meet your future employer. Registered job seekers will be entered into raffles taking place every half hour.


InvestVets Virtual Employer Networking Event

May 5, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Event Link: Register using this link

InvestVets connects employers with military talent by offering activities that reduce the high expectations and stress that are common with traditional job fairs. Join this weekly virtual networking event featuring employers from a variety of sectors.


VeteranWorks Detroit Virtual Job Fair

May 6, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Event Link: Register using this link

Attend the world's largest career expo, taking place the first Friday of every month. Connect with employers from across all industries. 


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.