Resident aims to assist veterans in job search - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Tukee Talk

Resident aims to assist veterans in job search

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Travis Roemhild is a reporter at the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Reach him at (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9:00 am | Updated: 11:16 am, Wed Sep 28, 2011.

We all know how hard it is to find a job, that's a given. And with companies more selective than ever, it can be even more difficult for someone who doesn't have any experience with resume writing, interviewing, or any other basics.

Recently, one specific group was brought to my attention that might have it more difficult than others: Veterans.

I met with Ahwatukee Foothills resident and veteran of the Air Force Security Forces, Jamie Lyons, who opened my mind to the fact that a lot of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars could be coming home in their mid- to late-20s, having served since they were 18 years old. As Lyons informed me, this presents a problem because many of them have no experience in the job application process.

Lyons, herself, was in that situation when she ended her active duty after 10 years.

"I didn't really have a clue when it came to resume writing and, eventually, I paid a couple hundred dollars to have a professional look at it," she said. "Younger veterans don't really understand the hiring process, at least I didn't, which is partially why the unemployment rate is around 13 percent."

She created the Veteran Career Assistance Foundation, which recently became a 501c3 organization, to assist with that transition period and give returning veterans free help and advice on applying for a job. She is accepting donations, as well as building relationships with local businesses, which may provide job services, like resume help, in the future.

Lyons has now seen both sides of the table as she has conducted interviews with her current job with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

She hopes to use those skills to build the organization into something special, and maybe do it full time.

"This is what I want to do, I love it," Lyons said. "It has never not been exciting as I have grown this organization. I want to help people."

To find out more, visit www.VetWorkForce.org.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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