Baltimore County Now
American Job Centers Offer Opportunity
Veterans Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on how grateful we are for the sacrifices so many give serving in our armed forces. That reflection isn’t limited to November 11.
Baltimore County’s three American Job Centers are working to help veterans put their military skills and experience to work back at home. More often than not, veterans have a robust skill set, but are struggling to translate their military experience to a language that employers in the civilian world understand.
“Our job is to bring veterans into the 21st century labor market through skills enhancement, occupational training and labor market information,” explains Leo Martinelli, Baltimore County’s Manager of Service Innovation for the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.
Veterans facing unemployment due to service-connected disabilities can also access special Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives through the American Job Centers. State and County staff work to make critical services more accessible to vets with especially challenging circumstances. In addition to two veterans outreach representatives at the Eastpoint American Job Center, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is now stationing a full-time vet rep, Careatha Burton, at the Liberty Job Center in Randallstown.
“Veterans face many challenges. In some cases the first hurdle is finding the veteran a home. Next it’s helping navigate the process of other critical support, such as support for coping with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PSTD), healthcare, and transportation to name a few. Once that foundation is built we begin crafting a way to employment,” explains Careatha.
Careatha’s Story – From Unemployed Veteran to Career Counselor
As a veteran who once found herself unemployed, Careatha has firsthand experience using services at a County job center. Careatha enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve after graduating from Woodlawn High School in 1987. During her service, she became the first in her family to graduate from college with a B.S. in Applied Psychology and a Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Careatha got a job as a workforce development counselor out of state. When the grant funded program ended, she was out of work.
Careatha came back home to find a job. The Liberty Center in Randallstown was her first stop. “As a workforce development professional, I knew all the resources available at the job centers. It’s a great networking opportunity and so many jobs are found through people you know.”
“Here is the cool part, Careatha is now helping other veterans at the very place she started her journey," explained Will Anderson, Director of Economic and Workforce Development for Baltimore County. “And, helping our veterans with career services in Baltimore County doesn’t stop at our American Job Centers. Patrick Young leads the way at Towson University. Keisha Campbell helps veterans at UMBC. CCBC has a long history of educating veterans, and has a certifying official at each campus. Finally, Goucher College and Stevenson University also focus on their vets.”
Help is Available
If you have a loved one, neighbor, friend or fellow veteran facing unemployment or in need of help, please tell them about our job centers. The County’s Homefront: Our Turn to Serve initiative also offers coordinated services to returning veterans.
Our veterans served us. Now it’s time to serve our veterans.
Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development
by Anthony Smith, Career Resource Specialist
Baltimore County Department of Economic Development, Division of Workforce Development
Working as a Career Resource Specialist for Baltimore County, I’ve been blessed to be able to truly change the lives of a lot of people. I’ve worked with single parents anxious to find steady work to support their families. I’ve helped people figure out what careers will be the most fulfilling. Of all the people I’ve served, I must say I’ve felt the most honored and had the most lasting impressions working with the men and women returning from serving our country in the military.
On a recent Saturday, my colleagues and I brought the County’s Mobile Career Center to a National Guard “Yellow Ribbon” Reintegration event at the Hunt Valley Marriott that drew 337 troops just back from overseas along with 52 of their family members. It was an outstanding event where we met with many potential clients and made some really good connections with other groups whose services could be valuable to our clients. I am so proud to partner with the military to help find good, steady jobs for these deserving individuals.
Baltimore County’s HOMEFRONT, OUR TURN TO SERVE initiative offers a number of services to returning veterans as well as making sure that all County agencies coordinate their efforts to help veterans in need. In addition, this past January, I was excited about County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s renewed commitment to helping veterans. He authorized our weekend participation at the National Guard’s “Yellow Ribbon” Reintegration events and instituted a hiring preference for veterans who wish to work for County government. The Division of Workforce Development now has three full-time staff members devoted to working with veterans - one at each of the three Baltimore County Workforce Centers, located in Randallstown, Eastpoint and Hunt Valley.
If you or anyone you know is a veteran who could benefit from our services, the staff at Baltimore County’s Office of Workforce Development would love to help! Call us at 410-887-2008 or visit one of our One-Stop Centers.