Veteran employment program announced

The Island Now

The North Shore-LIJ Health System announced the start of a new veteran-focused business employee resource group called Veterans and Allies: Liaisons of Reintegration. In addition, North Shore-LIJ veterans recently gave advice to local college veterans about re-entering the civilian workforce.

The VALOR business employee resource group brings employees together who have served or currently serve in the U.S. military, have family members in the armed forces or have a special interest in military and veterans’ affairs. Its goal is to give members of the military, veterans and their families an increased sense of community, and a chance to gain insight from each other and share their experiences. In addition, VALOR will help veterans with employment and getting adequate medical care. 

There will also be a mentoring component, which involves pairing veterans newly hired by North Shore-LIJ with another member of the health system to help transition into civilian employment and offer general career encouragement.

Relaying some of the lessons they have learned since returning from combat duty, North Shore-LIJ employees who served in the armed forces recently spoke to veterans from local colleges about how to transition their military experiences to the civilian workplace.

David Serana, a former US Army combat medic in Iraq who is now a North Shore University Hospital registered nurse, encouraged the veterans to use all the resources available to them to help them get a job. “You need to realize that if you don’t ask about a service or if you do not ask for any assistance to get a job, it won’t come to you,” Mr. Serana told the approximately one dozen veterans/students at a career session, hosted by Adelphi University at its Garden City campus.

 Air Force veteran Craig Washington, a patient support manager at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, said he was nervous at first about trying to explain to a civilian job recruiter the significance of his military experience managing millions of dollars of ammunition and weaponry. But with the help of both military higher ups and civilian friends, Mr. Washington said he was able to tailor his resume to focus on how his dedication to the military was an asset to future employers.

“Veterans sometimes have a hard time translating their experiences into things everyday people can understand, which can make hiring difficult,” said Mr. Roberts, a founding member of VALOR. “VALOR helps veterans use the experience they’ve gained during their own transitions out of the military to ensure newer veterans and their families have successful reintegration.”

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