Texas is home to one of the fastest growing Veteran populations in the nation. VA North Texas Health Care System’s 182,000 enrolled patients have a myriad of needs that go beyond basic and specialty medical care, including finding and thriving in employment and career opportunities.
VA North Texas’ Community Engagement Team answered this need via its inaugural Operation (IN) Reach Career and Information Fair, held on August 17th. As a result, more than 150 Veterans were able to meet with 31 employers offering on-the-spot interviews. Many of the positions included operations management to cyber security. The fair was also a great chance for Veterans to learn more about the VA MISSION Act.
“This is exactly what Veterans need,” said U.S. Army Veteran attendee, Clarence Mitchell. “We’re familiar with the VA and it’s great to have so many great opportunities in one place just for us.”
Veterans bring a “perfect fit”
Interstate Batteries, Citi, FedEx, Amazon, Bank of America and the City of Dallas say Veterans offer invaluable organizational skills, discipline and flexibility. They bring a perfect fit, and are great at mentoring others and helping to build strong teams.
“Veterans bring a level of dedication and commitment that we seek,” said Shea Mercer, Interstate Batteries corporate recruiter. “Thanks to this Fair we’ve been able to match up several Veterans with jobs.”
Operation (IN) Reach helps the Community Engagement Team bring VA eligibility, enrollment and patient education opportunities to VA North Texas’ 40-county service area. Ultimately, by going to where Veterans live, work and play, the 5-person team has been able to engage with more than 52,000 enrolled and eligible patients over 100,000 square miles in the last 10 months.
“North Texas is full of Veterans and many are not enrolled in VA health care,” said Michael Buchanan, Veteran Outreach Specialist and event coordinator. “Our mission is to create opportunities to engage with these Veterans, educate them on their benefits and VA services, enroll them, and ultimately set them up for success as patients.”
Operation (IN) Reach gave the Veterans who attended the opportunity to display their skills, diversity, and initiative. Several Veterans left with firm job offers and a new appreciation for the services offered at VA North Texas.
“This event goes far beyond what I would ever expect from a VA medical facility and its staff, and I’m very grateful for it,” said Mitchell.
Jeff Clapper is a public affairs officer at the VA North Texas Healthcare System
Photos by Michael Cole, public affairs specialist at the VA North Texas Health Care System