Support from Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)

In a program to help military veterans find jobs, students in the CSU chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management are finding that many vets have remarkable skills but often underestimate themselves. “The students are helping them build that bridge between the way the veterans often view themselves and what they are capable of doing,” said Tracy Porter, PhD, associate lecturer in CSU’s Department of Management and Labor Relations.
The unemployment rate for veterans is well above the civilian rate. Porter started the program in 2013, having students help veterans write resumes and cover letters, and coach them on interviewing skills. Some veterans have challenges with spelling, grammar and using a computer. Some also struggle with addiction recovery and post-traumatic stress.
During the winter and spring of 2014, about 15 students from the Monte Ahuja College of Business helped veterans at the Domiciliary on the Wade Park Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus. A number of veterans have valuable mechanical skills and certifications from military service that have lapsed, Porter said.
Benefit to Community: 
The program helped over 60 veterans at the end of 2014. With money from a CSU Civic Engagement grant, students at the end of the workshop gave veterans a job search packet containing a professional padfolio, resume paper and gift card to purchase interview attire. “The experience was incredibly positive and in ways we never anticipated,” said Dr. Porter. “The students gained real-world experience beyond the classroom in a service learning environment.” Dr. Porter plans to continue the project, and has developed it into what she hopes will be a credited course for graduate and undergraduate students.