DVIDS – News – Going Deeper: A Conversation with a Veterans with Disabilities Outreach Program Specialist

Recently, the Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service spoke with Peter “Pete” Pritchard, an 84-year-old Veterans with Disabilities Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to hear about his experiences serving veterans during the pandemic.

Pritchard has extensive experience in his role as a DVOP specialist, including service in multiple branches (US Navy and Air Force), decades of employment, post-baccalaureate training, and years of community service. These varied experiences have contributed to his knowledge and understanding of what works and doesn’t work for people, especially veterans, seeking employment in today’s job market. “Adjusting from military to civilian life can be a huge challenge for many veterans, despite when they left the service,” he said.

As a DVOP Specialist, he provides one-on-one career services to veterans who face significant barriers to employment, with an emphasis on economically or educationally disadvantaged veterans, such as veterans homelessness and the challenges of vocational rehabilitation.

“In my 14 years as a DVOP specialist, one of the most important lessons I have learned serving veterans is that life situations and experiences are not always what they seem. be,” he shared. “My mission is to help veterans identify their challenges and chart a new path forward.

COVID-19 has presented many new challenges. While many of the veterans he serves have recently separated, he has also found himself supporting more veterans between the ages of 50 and 75 who have experienced sudden unemployment due to the pandemic.

“Conducting a contemporary job search can be difficult for anyone these days, but many veterans experience additional challenges finding meaningful civilian employment,” Prichard said. “It’s not just about knowing how to write a sufficient cover letter, crafting a resume and interview, but also learning how to overcome obstacles, learn new skills and deal with change.”

To cite just one example, a 43-year-old veteran with a 70% disability rate recently approached him for help in developing an individual employment plan. In just over a month, he was able to help her apply and get hired into a position that makes good use of her skills and training, and gives her great job satisfaction.

Pritchard is one of thousands of DVOP specialists across the country making a difference for disabled and disadvantaged veterans.

DVOP specialist positions are made possible through our Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) program, which provides federal funding through a grant formula to 54 state workforce agencies that hire veterans. dedicated staff to provide individualized career and training-related services to veterans and eligible individuals.

Want to hear more from DVOP specialists? The National Veterans Training Institute recorded a podcast on DVOP Specialized Skills. During Episode 2, you can learn more about the essential skills DVOP specialists need to better serve veterans. Guests discuss their experiences serving veterans and share opportunities and resources to further develop these skills.

For more information on the Jobs for Veterans State Grants program, visit the Veterans Employment and Training Service website.

Veterans looking for job assistance can call 1-877-US2-JOBS, find the nearest US Job Center, or explore our online resources.

Maria Temiquelis, director of scholarships and training for the Veterans Employment and Training Service.

Date taken: 16.12.2021
Date posted: 25.04.2022 13:56
Story ID: 419208

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