Attention all veterans! Whether a student at BC or not, there are a wide range of resources available to veterans and their families through the programs here on the Bellevue College campus. Just last Wednesday, April 25, the Project Succeed program brought employers from the surrounding area to a hiring event hosted specifically for the veteran community.
Employers in attendance were looking to hire veterans for a variety of positions with flexible options, ranging from part-time to full-time summer employment to continuing positions and internships. Recruiting companies such as Walmart, Safeway, Remlinger Farms, Franz Bakeries, and Securitas set up a neat row of display booths managed by their professionally attired employment representatives. Veterans were greeted as they arrived by the friendly faces of Project Succeed’s program manager, Andy Brucia, Veteran Career Representative, Carol Folzt and Veteran Certifying Official, Margo Georgian, before proceeding to browse the tables.
Amid the pleasant chatter a casual onlooker might have mistaken the gathering for a purely social occasion, but Program Manager Andy Brucia acknowledged the event’s much greater significance: “Summer jobs are an important resource for veterans because they receive housing benefits while in school, but a lot of people don’t realize that these benefits don’t apply to un-enrolled vets in the summer. This often leaves veterans and their families without the proper means of support during summer months.” Fortunately, with the hundreds of positions made available at the hiring event offering college-friendly schedules and opportunity for advancement, the veterans didn’t seem to have a problem finding compatible job options.
“I love having the opportunity to come to events like these,” said Jeremy Winn, store manager at the recently opened Walmart neighborhood market in Bellevue, “especially those for the veterans. I have multiple family members who are veterans and have hired several store associates for their outstanding qualities as veterans alone.”
For those veterans who missed the hiring event on Wednesday, there is no need to worry. Bellevue College is home to Project Succeed, a unique grant-funded program tailored to connect with military service members and their families, located conveniently at the Center for Career Connections (B231) on campus. It is one of only five entities in the nation chosen to represent veterans by partnering with community colleges and other agencies through a grant from the Microsoft Elevate America Veterans Initiative. The program provides many career-oriented services to assist veterans in their transition back into civilian life with respect to individual background and experience. Veterans on or off campus can visit Project Succeed anytime for assistance in selecting a career path, writing a resume, finding a job or internship, and much more.
“As a part of Project Succeed it is my role to walk veterans through finding out their strengths and talents in order to help them navigate the system and ultimately choose a career path,” said Project Succeed’s Veteran Career Representative Carol Folzt.
The Bellevue College Veterans’ Office is another important resource for vets, located in the Student Services building (B-125M). Their officials work closely with Project Succeed and the Financial Aid Office to provide continued support to veterans, disabled veterans, dependents and spouses. They offer education benefits, work-study opportunities, housing and medical resources, general advising, social services and other networking.
Drop by Student Services to contact Program Manager Andy Brucia from Project Succeed at the Center for Career Connections (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Veteran Certifying Official Margaret Georgian from the Veterans’ Office and Financial Aid (email@example.com) to learn more about upcoming veteran events and the many ways to become involved or give back to the community of veterans here on campus.