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Navy Veteran Gene Bradshaw is on a mission.
Bradshaw served as an NFO during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, leaving active duty in 1997. Now he helps them put the puzzle pieces together of a ‘second career’, with a particular focus on strengthening networking skills. Since October, 2017, Bradshaw has worked with Corporate America Supports You (CASY), ), a non-profit that provides job placement and career progression services to veterans, transitioning active duty, National Guard, and Reserves across the nation. In 2016, CASY began offering on the ground services in western PA; all services are provided at no cost to the service member, veteran, or family members.
Bradshaw is currently working with about two dozen clients in our region as a CASY Employment Specialist. Clients can access his services in person, via email, or by phone. Depending on client need, Gene offers gap skills training, targeted resume and interview assistance, assistance with productive use of LinkedIn, and connections to employers.
Transitioning veterans who land a job after service may not always find a good fit right away. Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families 2014 report indicated that about 44% of veterans who responded to a survey left their first civilian job within a year of employment; another 21% left after one to two years on the job. CASY focuses on helping those they serve to locate employment that suits their skills and goals, not merely placing them in the first available job. They can assist with ongoing career progression, so that job seekers continue to find success as they grow in their careers. Because of how they operate, CASY finds that their candidates are staying on the job longer and are in positions that have a clear line of continued succession.
And while a 2017 study by the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis reveals that Veteran unemployment in PA is lower than in the general population, underemployment is a persistent problem. Bradshaw stated that many of the veterans with whom he’s worked have no definite plan nor career goals upon leaving service. “I ask them, what do you want to be when you grow up—and many haven’t given that very large question serious thought.” He continued, “Even if you’re employed but you feel there’s something better out there, we can help. I know of a Veteran that searched for a viable position for more than two years, living with family, running through their savings, just trying to find a good fit. Another Veteran applied to several hundred positions before getting an offer. I want to try to help alleviate that pain and stress on the military member and family.”
Corporate America Supports You (CASY) was founded in 2010 by a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral and his wife whose experience indicated the need for employment readiness, vocational training, and job placement services for military and veterans of all branches. Their programming augments DOD transition services and CareerLink services in Pennsylvania.
CASY’s sister organization, the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN) function as one unit serving two target audiences. Where CASY assists the Military Service Member, MSCCN focuses on their spouses. CASY & MSCCN maintain MOU’s with all branches of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Coast Guard.
An IRS registered 501c3, CASY relies on non-governmental support to provide their services at no charge to eligible military-affiliated clients. Contact Employment Specialist Gene Bradshaw at 724-933-7646 or [email protected] and visit www.casy.us for more information.