Volunteers help veterans find work

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Many service members are finding it harder than ever to find meaningful work, especially during the pandemic.

“It was a challenge before the pandemic,” says Rob Rens, a veteran and local insurance agent, “and it’s heightened now because job availability is much lower. We have 200,000 veterans that transition out each and every year, so there’s a lot of supply and not a lot of demand.”

In fact, within two years of transitioning to civilian life, studies show 67 percent express dissatisfaction with their job and look for other opportunities.

But it’s created an opportunity for former marine, Rens.

He and a group of volunteers provide no-cost head shots, business venture advice, social media coaching, and free business attire to veterans, current service members, and their spouses, connecting them to others in the area.

“We lose our tribe when we get out,” states Rich Cardona, a former marine and social media expert. “That’s like, not a secret. We get out, we lose our tribe, we’re just like what happens now? So one of the most important things you can do is stay connected to the veteran community, even if it’s virtually. “

And Mary Kate Soliva agrees. She currently serves in the army, and says the help is invaluable:

“When we’re in uniform, we’re the same, we’re unified. But today, just this morning, I mean, she’s been putting on pops of color. I am not used to wearing animal print. You see me now, I’m wearing these bright red pants. There’s no unity in color in this uniform this morning.”

A community joining together…to help veterans —help themselves.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, News, Top Stories

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