Green Jobs: Career Services for Veterans

Four 225-kilowatt wind turbines help produce power for Ascension Auxiliary Airfield, a small base belonging to the 45th Space Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)
Four 225-kilowatt wind turbines help produce power for Ascension Auxiliary Airfield, a small base belonging to the 45th Space Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

The Bob Woodruff Foundation has issued a grant to Veterans Green Jobs, which will be allocated toward the nonprofit's initiatives to provide career counseling services to post-9/11 wounded, injured, or ill veterans who want to gain skills needed to acquire jobs in the growing green energy sector.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant of $50,000 is specifically intended to support Veterans Green Jobs in the hiring of a career services counselor for the Veterans Green Jobs employment assistance program, which connects military veterans with job and training opportunities in the green economic sector. Veterans Green Jobs' employment assistance program has a goal of placing 300 veterans into jobs by mid-2013. The gift from the Bob Woodruff Foundation will help Veterans Green Jobs achieve that goal, with the intent that 150 of those veterans be wounded, injured, or ill.

"We anticipate that the green jobs sector generally, including renewable energy, natural resources conservation and environmental remediation, will continue to grow in the next decade," says John Toth, senior director of Veteran Programs for Veterans Green Jobs. "More companies are being called upon to install solar energy technologies, increase energy efficiency in residential, industrial and commercial industries, and the list goes on. President Obama said in his State of the Union address in January 2012 that the country must make a commitment to creating sustainable jobs for veterans and expanding the clean energy sector.

"The solar industry in particular continues to grow, and companies like SolarCity have jobs for veterans in a variety of job roles ranging from field work to administrative and management positions. People recognize the need for clean, reliable and effective alternatives to fossil fuels, and the renewable energy sector will continue to expand because it provides an alternative energy source that is affordable and effective."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in June 2012, of veterans who have served since 2001, 12.7 percent were unemployed in May, and the youngest (18-24 years of age) are unemployed at a rate of 23.5 percent. More than one million veterans are projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016, placing increased demands on the workforce.

The focus of Veterans Green Jobs' program is on reintegration of military veterans into the civilian workforce. Its model incorporates one-on-one counseling and assessment, and initiatives focused on education and well-being. Veterans who have been wounded or injured, or incurred illness as a result of their military service, require more adaptable and differently designed job placement techniques.

"An investment in Veterans Green Jobs is an investment in job creation. Veterans Green Jobs' mission aligns with the Bob Woodruff Foundation's mission to bring hope and fulfillment to injured service members' lives with tools such as career counseling and job placement," says Anne Marie Dougherty, executive director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

"Servicemembers with an engineering background fit well with the solar or green construction industry, while service members who have experience working with aircraft engines are marketable to the wind industry," says Toth. "Veterans bring so much experience and intangible skills — commitment, strong work ethic, great values, team-oriented values and commitment to a mission — to the workplace, and many employers recognize those skills. The important thing is for veterans to connect with a career counselor who can match their experience and skills with an employer who values the attributes veterans bring to the workplace."  

Veterans Green Jobs seeks to hire a career counselor to support this program. Among the counselor's key roles will be to provide job placement services through one-one-one counseling; coach veterans to take active responsibility for their career decisions and job search efforts; facilitate awareness of military job skills, work related strengths, interests, and values and how those skills fit into green industries; and assist veterans with resume writing and interview preparation. Details about the position and opportunity are on the Veterans Green Jobs website.

About Veterans Green Jobs Veterans Green Jobs is a national nonprofit whose mission is to engage, transition and connect military veterans with meaningful employment opportunities that serve our communities and environment. With programs in eight states, Veterans Green Jobs offers training and hands-on experience, directly employs veterans, offers entrepreneurial opportunities and offers a national job placement model. See for information. Join Veterans Green Jobs on Facebook.

About the Bob Woodruff Foundation Co-founded by award-winning ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff after he sustained serious injuries while covering the Iraq War in 2006; the Bob Woodruff Foundation is the national nonprofit that helps ensure our nation's injured service members, veterans and their families return to a home front ready to support them. BWF provides resources and support to service members, veterans and their families to successfully reintegrate into their communities so they may thrive physically, psychologically, socially and economically. For more information about the Bob Woodruff Foundation, please visit

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