by Ed Mattson
Monday’s article discussed specialized websites that provide services to veterans which many have never visited. The first is the Potomac Workforce Education and Recruitment (PoWER) Center for veterans with disabilities. Its center is located south of Washington DC in LaPlata, MD. The PoWER program works to facilitate a transition from the military to the civilian workforce by focusing primarily on disabled veterans and their needs.
At PoWER participants receive counseling from the staff which assesses their individual needs to determine a beneficial course of action. Veterans with a 30% service connected disability will receive priority placement, but all veterans with service connected disability are served.
PoWER focuses attention on the individual rather than the group as a whole. They assess the preparation needs of each veteran before addressing the job market. The veteran joins a group at the center where multiple organizations work together to provide comprehensive services. Small support groups are formed from among the participants to help each other through the training program.
PoWER case-manages each of the participants, gathering information from the organizations providing assistance. The program provides family support services, offers customized career education programs, and will provide job-matching services for each participant. Their website also has an Employment Opportunities section. The PoWER Program works closely with the TAG program of the VA about which we have been writing, and has the same requirements of being honorably discharged or be on active duty awaiting discharge by a medical/physical evaluation board.
The disabled veteran is also eligible for addition programs such as the Veterans Recruitment Act (VRA). Why This is a special authority by which agencies can appoint an eligible veteran with 30% disability without competition to work for a federal job. The VRA is an excepted appointment to a position that is otherwise based on competition of other applicants, providing the veteran is fully qualified for the position and meets any determined educational requirements.
The second program is in the State of Georgia and is being closely watched by Department of Defense, and the Veterans Administration, and others as the pilot program for the rest of the country to address the complete family of the transitioning soldier. The program is called Warrior2Citizen, and has been in the making for over a year to insure attention to detail, with support from Emory University, Veterans Innovative Center, VFW, Georgia National Guard, and many others. The initial grant funding has been generously donated by Callaway Gardens Resort which will act as the campus for program operations.
The Warrior2Citizen program is a highly confidential, effective, less formal program, with a special emphasis on treating families. There will be a number of options including individual and group counseling focused on the unique issues of service members, veterans, and their families. Services will be provided for those who may be struggling with the many faces of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
- • Adjusting to deployment
• Grief and loss
• Witnessing traumatic events
• Depression and anxiety
• Abusive or destructive relationships
• Relationship, couple and family problems
• Parenting and child rearing challenges
• Behavioral and emotional problems in children
• Family crises, including separation, divorce and death
The program is open to all veterans and active duty military. In future articles I will conduct interviews with the volunteers and staffs which bring you these great programs.
Following his service in the Marine Corps Ed Mattson built a diverse career in business in both sales/marketing and management. He is a medical research specialist and published author. His latest book is Down on Main Street: Searching for American Exceptionalism
Ed is currently Development Director of the National Guard Bureau of International Affairs-State Partnership Program, Fundraising Coordinator for the Warrior2Citizen Project, and Managing Partner of Center-Point Consultants in North Carolina.
Mr. Mattson is a noted speaker and has addressed more than 3000 audiences in 42 states and 5 foreign countries. He has been awarded the Order of the Sword by American Cancer Society, is a Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow and appeared on more than 15 radio and television talk-shows.