Des Plaines program helps struggling veterans find a new career

Des Plaines program helps struggling veterans find a new career

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Mudassir “Moon” Syed Hussaini of Palatine served 5 years as an plane mechanic within the Marine Corps earlier than an harm compelled him again into civilian life.

The transition was tough; he lacked focus in trying to find a job, not to mention a brand new profession, he stated.

Then he discovered the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce & Trade Veterans Again to Work Boot Camp, now in its second 12 months.

Being accepted into the 11-week program modified his life.

“It centered me,” he stated Thursday evening at a commencement ceremony for 19 veterans, two of them girls. “I discovered how you can get by way of an interview and how you can switch my expertise. I grew to become work-centered and targeted.”

Tales like Hussaini’s permeated the ambiance on the occasion, which drew practically 100 individuals, together with veterans, Des Plaines metropolis leaders and enterprise companions, in addition to a few of final 12 months’s boot camp graduates.

They obtained the possibility to satisfy Margaret Bennett of Seashore Park. She served eight years of lively responsibility within the Military as a medic, rising to the rank of sergeant. Whereas she had envisioned a profession within the medical discipline as a civilian, she was unsure.

“I did not understand how my expertise would switch,” stated Bennett. “This program helped me determine my strengths.”

Mentors in this system helped Bennett notice that as an officer she had performed coaching periods for different medics and arranged procedures for brand spanking new gear. She now hopes to land a job in coaching and compliance, or probably in organizational administration.

The commencement ceremony befell at Des Plaines American Legion Put up 36, which the boot camp members had just lately refurbished with new paint. However the course itself befell on the chamber workplaces and featured shows by completely different enterprise mentors every week.

One of many first mentors was Marne Deithorn, human sources director at Rivers On line casino in Des Plaines and a former Marine. The on line casino is a significant sponsor of the boot camp and Deithorn obtained an enormous response from the graduates when she addressed them Thursday evening.

“One of many targets of this course was to remind you of all of the intangible expertise that you simply as veterans have,” Deithorn stated, pointing to such attributes as decisiveness, integrity, dedication, loyalty and timeliness. “These expertise are vital, and corporations worth them.”

A type of employers available was Cindy Veremis, discipline human sources director with Sky Cooks in Des Plaines, and the incoming president of the Des Plaines Chamber.

“We have already employed two of final 12 months’s graduates,” Veremis stated. “We’re all the time in search of nice leaders and these veterans have nice management expertise.”

That message match with the aim of considered one of this 12 months’s class members, Quentin Smith of Plainfield. He served 20 years as a fight medic within the Military earlier than returning to civilian life and incomes his grasp’s diploma in social work. He entered the boot camp seeking to achieve a management place, probably working in coverage or program administration.

“This system helped me discover ways to current myself and discuss to hiring managers,” Smith stated. “I discovered how you can community and simply have extra confidence.”

Deithorn agreed, telling graduates that they’d grown immensely, each of their talent set and in camaraderie with each other.

“Your confidence ranges have grown immensely,” Deithorn stated, “and your capability to share your self and your tales with potential employers.”

The commencement ceremony not solely affirmed what they’d completed in boot camp, it helped them on the following steps, with every receiving a career-focused package deal valued at $eight,000, together with a brand new laptop computer laptop.

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