2018-08-19 / Insight


Veterans Summit fast approaching at DuPont-Lapeer Airport

ED RONDERS ED RONDERS Editor’s note: The following column was written by Edward Ronders, director of the Lapeer County Veterans Affairs Office. T he Fourth Annual

Lapeer County

Veterans Summit — Honoring Heroes — is fast approaching.

The DuPont-Lapeer Airport will once again host Lapeer County’s premiere veteran event Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Summit is presented by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, the LCVA and the Community Foundation of Lapeer County.

Nearly 50 resources that provide services for veterans are expected to be on hand. The day’s focus is on health, housing, education, employment and suicide prevention. Throw in some vintage aircraft and military vehicles, a bounce house, and you have a formula for success.

Each year it seems certain topics draw significant interest at the Summit. One of the hot ticket items this year is employers seeking to hire veterans.

Diesel mechanic? Social worker? Law enforcement? Apprenticeships in the private sector?

The lineup has been expanded to include a Job Fair component.

The Summit is testimony to the demand for qualified workers as well as company’s commitment to hire veterans.

We’ve added two tents to the program to house the expected 25 employers seeking to hire veterans. We’re talking industrial heavyweights and local firms who are reaching out to hire veterans.

The lineup ranges from International corporations such as Ford Motor Company to KAMAX, which has an international corporation that has a large presence a few hundred yards from the airport.

Kamax has the help wanted sign up.

Roush Veterans Initiative Program will be on hand, as well. Not only does Roush have opportunities here in Michigan, they also are looking to fill vacancies in other states. Positions available include drivers, mechanics, welders, project/ program managers and other skilled trades.

Don’t forget to stop and see Mark Meadows (a former Marine). Mark is Community Employment Coordinator headquartered at the Detroit VA Medical Center.

He connects veterans with job and job training opportunities as well as linking employers with qualified veterans.

If you’re an employer seeking veteran hires, Mark has some tips for you, too.

What Veterans Bring to the Table:

• Attention to detail: In the military, forgetting details can lead to more than financial consequences

• Leadership traits: Second to none

• Performance/balance under pressure: When the going gets tough, veterans become tougher, and no corporate role can match that

• Accustomed to/welcome diversity: Veterans are groomed to work well with all walks of life — stateside or overseas

Integrity: Veterans are trained to do the right thing, even when not being supervised

• Process-oriented: When it comes to rules and regulations, a veteran is trained to execute with precision

• Proactive: You never have to ask a veteran twice

Mark also has interview tips for veterans seeking employment. One such category is what NOT to do during an interview. Among his advice:

• 1: Low energy.

A lack of enthusiasm or being too relaxed says, “I’m not that interested in this position or what you have to say.” Many candidates were not selected for a follow up due to low energy even though the position and location were exactly what the candidate was looking for and the resume was a great match.

• 2: Ramble.

When answering a question or explaining a past experience, be sure to give pertinent details and communicate the result in a timely fashion. Very rarely should your answer take longer than only a few minutes.

Another heavy hitter is the Michigan Dept. of Transportation and its training/apprenticeship program for veterans.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is looking for a few good agents and will be on hand.

That’s a small sample of the folks you’ll meet.

Save the date!

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