Military program helps vets transfer combat skills to corporate world
A military program that helps veterans transition to civilian life is challenging Canadian employers to hire 10,000 veterans by 2023.
Canada Company, an organization that connects business and community leaders and the Canadian Forces, says within the next year, there will be about 5,000 former military members entering the job market, about 36 per cent of which will find work.
"This period can be overwhelming, because your intense experience in what I call a brotherhood…is unbelievably different than the general Canadian public," Angela Mondou, President of Canada Company, told CTV's Canada AM on Tuesday.
Mondou, who spent nine years as a logistics officer in the Canadian Forces, said, after leaving the military, it's not uncommon for veterans to go through a period of disillusionment.
Many are unsure how their military experience can apply to the civilian workforce.
"(They wonder) what kind of skills do I have to segue into employment," she said. "You may have spent time in a war zone (or) in a critical mission. That can apply, in the business world, to intense project management, or high risk, fast deadline kinds of projects."
Mondou said since Canada Company's Military Employment Transition program was introduced in 2013, it has helped about 2,000 veterans. She's confident the organization will reach its 10,000 goal by 2023.
"We are, on a weekly basis, getting companies that are reaching out to us," she said.
Through the program, transitioning Canadian Forces members and veterans are connected with businesses across Canada looking for employees with specific skill sets. Employers are also offered training and support to help retrain those members.
Theresa Sappara left the military after 14 years when her husband, who was also in the military, was injured and medically released.
"Our challenge, after my husband was injured in Afghanistan, was really finding gainful employment for him, which led me to also leave the military to provide a stable and supportive environment for our kids," she said.
Sappara said Canada Company acted as a conduit between herself and the private industry.
She is now working as a supply chain analyst for Town Shoes, and her husband works at a bank.