Operation Transition Prepares Veterans For Civilian Careers, Helps Grow Tampa Bay Companies

Because of the large percentage of unemployed veterans, WilsonHCG has launched Operation Transition, a veteran's initiative with a "holistic approach'' to creating sustainable careers and life paths for veterans and their families. The ultimate purpose of the initiative is to acknowledge the commitment of veterans and to support their transition back to civilian life by "providing the career tools they require to present themselves and their experience effectively.''

The concept emerged in the fall of 2011 when WilsonHCG and other companies from around the nation partnered with the TV show Dr. Drew's Lifechangers on the CW Network in an effort called "Putting America Back to Work.'' As Bridget Webb, Wilson HCG senior director of marketing & recruitment technology, sat in the audience, the story of a young marine veteran stood out. On a flight back to Tampa Bay post-collaboration, Webb thought about the significant number of veterans struggling to make the transition after returning from military service.

Webb pitched the idea of creating an initiative to prepare veterans for military to civilian life transition to company CEO John Wilson who loved  the idea; thus Operation Transition came to life and officially launched in the fall of 2012. As many veterans hold degrees and other expert certifications, Webb explains how the program helps them "get acclimated and find jobs'' while fostering an environment where they can get a one-stop collage of tools and resources. The program offers ''free career assessments'' which help veterans translate their unique skills to the current market in addition to helping them build a LinkedIn profile to showcase their expertise.

"We encourage companies to adopt veteran recruitment programs -- to find someone within their organization who is a veteran and who can be their champion,'' Webb says. This provides veterans with inspiration and the "tools they need to be successful which effectively increases the economy in Tampa.''

Operation Transition 2013 is partnering with several organizations to launch an April webinar geared toward sharing specific career assistance to transitioning veterans. In the summer, Operation Transition will have on-site locations where veterans will be "paired with hiring managers who are informed of the veterans' expert skills and who are ready to make the introduction and start the interview process,'' says Webb.

For individuals, companies or organizations wishing to get involved, contact Webb by email.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: Bridget Webb, WilsonHCG
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