Veterans who are enrolled in the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System’s Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program that are seeking employment now have additional support from the Tucson VA.
The medical center partnered with Arizona@Work (formerly known as Pima County Kino Veterans’ Workforce Center) to provide direct support for veterans who want to re-enter the job market.
Pima County Kino Veterans’ Workforce Center is now a collaborative with Arizona’s Department of Economic Security with the new name Arizona@Work, which is one of the Pima County One Stop employment centers.
While Arizona@Work provides one-stop shopping for veterans looking for work, having vocational development specialists from the Tucson VA gives veterans the personalized support they need to help guide them to meaningful long-term employment.
The collaboration allows veterans to obtain job-seeking skills, short-term training to gain credentials for employment, and use the computer lab to apply for jobs. This partnership combines the resources of the Tucson VA staff and Arizona@Work to better facilitate employment resources for veterans.
“By enterprising our resources, we have been able to help more veterans, as Arizona@Work has resources that we do not have, and we also have resources the One Stop can benefit from, which enhances the services we provide to veterans,” said Michael Arinello, Vocational Development Specialist with the Tucson VA.
Tucson VA Vocational Developmental Specialists in conjunction with the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans, Community Employment Coordinator are also involved in community outreach and engage with employers to advocate for and educate them on the benefit of hiring veterans.
“We do a lot of business outreach to encourage employers to hire veterans as we want our program to expand,” said Arinello.
The partnership has generated a measurable increase in Veterans’ access to employers. Arizona@Work, in conjunction with the VA Vocational Developmental Specialists, host bi-weekly networking events where veterans and employers can meet face-to-face, learn what employers are looking for, and also network with other veterans. In addition, the Tucson VA and the One Stop held a successful job fair last Veterans Day, and they also plan on hosting future veteran job fairs.
Veterans who have visited Arizona@Work are very appreciative for the services provided by the partnership.
“Many of our veterans have said they feel relevant again when they re-enter the workforce. We have noted a significant increase in their self-worth and self-esteem when they feel they are re-integrated into society,” said Matt Staples, Vocational Development Specialist with the Tucson VA.
For more information about the Tucson VA’s HUD-VASH Vocational Development Specialist assistance program, veterans can call T.J. Rizzuti at 520-792-1450, Ext. 4164.