After serving seven years in the Army in the logistics field, Matthew Lloyd attended school, cared for family members and set a goal of finding a stable job that would lead to financial security and benefits for him and his son.
He reached out to his Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Counselor for assistance and was referred to Tim Snyder, a Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program specialist at IowaWORKS. DVOP assists veterans with service-connected disabilities, to develop interview skills and build resumes. The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service provides resources for veterans, transitioning service members and program providers at more than 2,500 American Job Centers, such as IowaWORKS, nationwide.
Over the next several months, they worked on re-writing his resume to focus on the leadership skills he had developed in the Army and his diverse experience. They also used tools available at One-Stop programs such as IowaWORKS—including computer-based courses on dressing for success, interview techniques, etiquette and writing a federal job resume. Lloyd has obtained the National Career Readiness Certificate.
“The courses and guidance from the staff at IowaWORKS really helped me to develop confidence in my job skills,” Lloyd said.
When a job opportunity became available with the Burlington, Iowa, Social Security Office, Lloyd was one of several veterans who applied. About six weeks after beginning the interview process, he was offered a position as a Social Security Administration Service Representative and is celebrating his first anniversary on the job, Sept. 8.
“I really like the position. You are working with different clients each day and you are making a difference for them. I enjoy knowing that I am helping people,” Lloyd said. “I assist customers on the phone, those who walk in and even answer mail from people.”
Lloyd says the staff at IowaWORKS and the Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation office really worked as a team to prepare him for this job opportunity.
“They helped me to see that the experience I had working in the Army prepared me for a diverse environment working with our customers at the Social Security Administration,” Lloyd said. “Most importantly they helped me find ways to cope with my disability and helped me improve my job skills.”
Having a permanent job with employee benefits such as medical insurance has made a difference for this veteran and his son.
“I am helping people each day and that is a great feeling,” Lloyd said.
Learn more about services available to veterans.
Editor’s note: The “DOL Working for You” series highlights the Labor Department’s programs in action. View other blog posts in the series here.
Rhonda Burke is a public affairs specialist for the department in Chicago.