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Chamber Members Support Local Veteran’s

I feel like I spent the month of March stalking Charlie DuQuette. Charlie is the Veteran’s Representative for Employment and Training Resources, our local One-Stop Career Center. For returning veteran’s looking to re-enter the work place, there is no better person to work with than Charlie, and of course, our local municipal Veteran’s Services Directors. Our paths crossed three times last month thanks to several members of the Neponset Valley Chamber who are committed to helping veterans get back to work after serving our country.

Unemployment rates for veterans continue to remain higher than the general population. Several reports show that despite the training and job skills acquired in the military, young veterans of recent conflicts have generally encountered more difficulty in finding work than civilians. Fortunately government and business leaders are working together to create programs that will bring veterans into contact with employers.

One such program this month was sponsored by the Neponset Valley Sunrise Rotary Club. Chamber member, John Gorham, The Bulfinch Group, has led this effort for several years. More than 50 people including veterans, employers, veteran service groups and Rotarians (many of whom are Chamber members) took part in the breakfast meeting. It was a great networking opportunity that resulted in a number of meaningful connections being made.

Meanwhile another member, Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Norwood unveiled their new classroom sponsored by Tri State Truck Center, Inc., a heavy truck dealership, and dedicated to pioneering how companies in the trucking industry react to the shortage of skilled diesel technicians. UTI is the leading provider of post-secondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. UTI is also committed to introducing veterans to careers as technicians and offers a wide range of support through their “Vets To Techs” program to help them reach that goal. In fact 4 out 5 graduates find work within their chosen field.

ITT Technical Institute in Norwood is an institution of higher learning that is committed to offering quality undergraduate and continuing education. They offer career-related educational programs that prepare students for a wide variety of technical careers. Like UTI, ITT Tech also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program offered through the Veterans Administration. Last week, ITT hosted a Military Open House to celebrate the opening of a room they call “the Bunker”, which is dedicated for use by student-veterans. The room offers veterans a place to congregate with others and hosts a variety of resource materials for those looking to access benefits and services available to them.

I’m sure each of us knows someone who has served our country and at some point has needed help, direction or advice on life after the service. It’s gratifying to see how many of our fellow Chamber members have stepped up to serve those who serve us. I’ve named just a few, although I know that many more local businesses support our heroes every day. Thank you to those who do.