Indianapolis veteran organization celebrates first graduating class of job program

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INDIANAPOLIS — 12 veterans graduated from the first class of the VetWorks program Friday.

VetWorks is a program based around job and skill training for veterans so they can find higher-skilled work in the job market. The veterans are placed into different career pathways and coached on skills they need for that specific job.

“They’ve put in a lot of time and energy over the last several months while they’ve been working here on-site at HVAF,” said Bryan Dysert, Chief Operating Officer for HVAF. “Working with their employment specialists working within the various different departments here at the agency, working through various different modules, going through financial literacy classes, budgeting classes, a whole gamut of things as a way for us to continue to help foster and cultivate those soft skills that they can then carry forward for years to come.”

The graduates started last spring and say this program was a quick way to pick up valuable skills.

“I was introduced to a new field that I’ve never had any experience with or any type or training in before so it went from me being a beginner level just entering the field to over the course of months and weeks developing more of an intermediate skill,” said Hilton Bandy, a graduate of the VetWorks program.

The graduates were also trained in more general business etiquette including how to speak and what to wear in different professional settings. The graduates now move on to educational training certification.

HVAF has numerous programs and services they offer veterans ranging from street outreach to permanent supportive housing. In 2020, it served 1,453 veterans, including 337 veterans who got into permanent housing and 190 veterans who got employment.

“They’re receiving those supportive services and a core part of all of those conversations is talking about those skills it’s talking about budgeting, is talking about addressing any mental health issues that might be going on any physical health issues that might be going on, any family issues, legal issues,” Dysert said. “That’s all baked into those services that we’re providing.”

The organization has a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other organizations to provide housing and re-integration services for homeless veterans. They also have programs to prevent at-risk veterans from becoming homeless.

For more information about HVAF and how to get involved, visit their website

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