December 6 at 9:16am

Interfaith’s veterans persevere to find jobs in a tough market

Interfaith’s Veterans Assistance of San Diego (VASD) continues to work hard to help local struggling veterans get back on their feet. But the success VASD has seen equally reflects the perseverance and determination of the clients in the program, say program managers.

Recently, three renewable grants from the Department of Labor have helped equip veterans clients in their effort to get back to work. The grants are a strong vote of confidence in the program by Federal agencies, says program manager Marinea Goodsen. “We bring a lot of experience to the table,” said Goodson, “and that enables us to provide our clients with effective guidance.”

Steven Mason (pictured here), a Navy veteran and VASD employment services client, echoes Goodson’s strong positive outlook on the program. “It’s a blessing. Instead of an individual trying to get somewhere by themselves, you have a whole group involved. That creates access to more resources, more energy, and more possibilities,” said Mason, referring to program staff support and guidance as clients pursue vocational training and job placement.

With funding support from VASD employment services, Mason is completing training for two high-caliber Cisco Systems technology certificates. Programs like this empower individual vets like Mason to go out and get the re-training they need to enter the workforce with confidence.

The same goes for veterans with families, especially single parents such as Samantha Morales.

For Morales – an Army veteran and a single mother of one-year-old and three-year-old daughters – the VASD program led to a full-time security guard job. “If it wasn’t for the opportunity I got, I wouldn’t have been able to do that,” Morales, 26, said of her involvement in the program.

Despite these successes, there is still plenty of work to do and plenty of resources missing that would make these programs even more successful. VASD is on the lookout for more funding to help Veterans fill the gap for rental assistance, car repairs, and other needs that aren’t covered by grant funds.

In addition, VASD and other Interfaith employment programs are constantly searching for businesses willing to help veterans learn marketable skills.

If you, or someone you know can help, call Craig Jones at (760) 489-6380 today.