U.S. Representative Blackburn and U.S. Representative Roe held a Veteran’s Town Hall Meeting to highlight organization and agencies that support our former military personnel last Friday. Workforce Essentials’ President Marla Rye was selected to give a brief overview of the Clarksville/Montgomery County Career Center.

Others that participated with the Congressmen were:

Kim McMillan, Mayor, City of Clarksville
Carolyn Bowers, Mayor, Montgomery County
Brigadier General Jeffrey N. Colt, Deputy Commanding General 101st Airborne (air Assault)
Colonel Paul R. Cordts, Commander, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Fort Campbell, KY
Harold T. Riggins, III, Transition Services Manager, Fort Campbell Army Career and Alumni Program
Juan Morales, RN, MSN, Health System Director, VA Tennessee Valley Health Care System
Christopher Meilinger, Executive Director, Humana East Division – TRICARE
Shelly Peterson, Assistance Veterans Service Center Manager, VA Regional Office Nashville, TN
Derrell Payne, Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration
Mark Breece, Assistance Commissioner for West Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs
Carol Clark, Director of Community and Business Relations, Austin Peay State University
Keith Messer, President, Student Veterans Organization, Austin Peay State University
Lieutenant Colonel Cliff Carver, Tennessee National Guard, Military and Family Readiness Operations
Dr. Christopher Bonner, PhD, LCSW, Vet Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Jerry Rivers, Director, Veterans Service Organization, Clarksville-Montgomery County

“I’m excited to boast about the outstanding job that our Local Veteran Employment Representatives (LVERS) and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) do at the Career Center. In 2011, nearly 3,000 Veterans were served out of the Tennessee Career Center in Clarksville. Just over 1,900 were referred to employment opportunities with a 53% entered employment rate and a 77% retention rate.” ~Marla Rye

This year a new opportunity exists for Post 9/11 Veterans called the Gold Card Initiative. The Gold Card is an online certificate that entitles participants to enhanced core and intensive services such as skill assessment, career coaching and job search assistance. Online services are available through mynextmove.org/vets. This site provides self service career exploration tools, enhanced look-up by branch of service and military code, helps translate military occupation to civilian careers to assist with job search and resume-writing and offers job listings to aid in job search.

All of these services are a great way to say “thank you” to the brave men and women that have served our county well and fought for the freedoms that we enjoy today. It is appropriate that we do our best to help them transition into the civilian sector.