Redmond-based work rep helps vets find jobs

February 23, 2009

By Jeff Richards

When Anthony Eigner got out of the Marines in 2000, he struggled to find a career that fit his experience in the military.After a few different jobs, he found himself unemployed in 2008. The occupation he had been trained for, correctional officer, was on the decline and job opportunities were dwindling.

“I just got kinda lost in a daze,” he said.

Things began to change for Eigner, of Issaquah, when he discovered the Web site for WorkSource Redmond and contacted veterans representative Paul Sanchez, whose job is to find employment for military veterans and put them on a course toward finding a career that suits them.

“It helps you translate what you did in the service into civilian work,” Eigner said. “It helps you realize you can do more than just lift boxes all day.”

Sanchez helps veterans assess what area of work suits them, gives training on interviewing and writing résumés, and he gives referrals to supportive services.

WorkSource Redmond is part of the State of Washington Employment Security Department. Sanchez is available for appointments and will make the trip to Issaquah to meet with veterans.

Dixie Owen-Perry, operations manager of WorkSource Redmond, said a big part of Sanchez’s job is also to identify the additional training veterans will need and show them the opportunities available to further their education.

Working with Sanchez prompted Eigner to return to school to gain a degree in social human services. He is currently enrolled at Lake Washington Technical College.

While the service can be more helpful to veterans who recently left the military, it is still a valuable resource to older veterans, said Gary Morris, also of Issaquah, who got out of the Air Force in 1988.

Morris is undergoing his second run with WorkSource Redmond and said he takes consistent advantage of its exhaustive listing of jobs and contacts available.

Though he has yet to find a job, Morris said it is the fault of the current market and not the service itself.

“There’s just nothing out there right now,” he said. “There’s just too many of us.”

Despite the current economic climate, which is squeezing the job market for everyone, Sanchez said he is still having success getting his veterans hired.

“Fortunately, for us, there’s a big push to hire veterans right now,” he said.

Owen-Perry said a big reason for that is the perception employers have of veterans fresh from the service.

“They’re already trained. They’re already disciplined,” she said. “They’re very dedicated to their employer and their training.”

She said there is always a high demand for veterans in the police, fire and security industries, because they already have the discipline and security clearance needed.

To advocate the hiring of veterans, Sanchez promotes his service at job fairs and other events. 

He holds afternoon sessions from 1-5 p.m. the first and third Thursday of every month at the Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. S.E., Snoqualmie.

While he does not have a regular meeting place in Issaquah, he is available by appointment and is looking for a provider of an office space to meet with local veterans in Issaquah.

Reach intern Jeff Richards at 392-6434, ext. 236, or isspress@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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