This program is truly making a difference in the lives of some very deserving Veterans. This is not a hand out but a helping hand that is focused on getting great American jobs. I’m proud to be associated with such an effort.
Rich Brooks, President, DGS Inc., with the President of PVA, Bill Lawson.
Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) recently joined forces with Agility Defense & Government Services in Tampa, Florida to open a vocational rehabilitation center that helps disabled veterans attain job skills, training, education and other assistance that they need to find jobs and start careers.
The center was established at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa with funds raised by Agility DGS at its annual Paralyzed Veterans Golf Open. Agility DGS has raised more than $1.8 million over six years, funding vocational rehabilitation centers at veterans hospitals in San Antonio, Texas, and Augusta, Georgia.
Rich Brooks, president of Agility Defense & Government Services Inc., attended the opening of the Tampa center. “We owe a great debt to those who have served our country. We need to make sure they get every chance to find and thrive in productive, meaningful careers,” he said. “I’m confident that employers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and across Florida will step up and look to this center for help in hiring veterans. They understand the value veterans bring to the workplace.”
PVA is a non-profit organization established to empower and build brighter futures for injured U.S. veterans. PVA’s national vocational network includes seven centers at veterans hospitals around the United States. The centers work with veterans to understand their benefits options and identify the path to long-term employment.
Since 2007, 1500 veterans have received services through the program. More than 700 companies and organizations have committed to hiring clients from the program.
The Tampa opening was attended by officials from PVA, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, local congressional offices, the Florida governor’s office, the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Also attending were veterans who are currently receiving services and employment counseling at the Tampa center.
Terry Gerton, deputy assistant secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training Services at the U.S. Department of Labor, said: “It is incredibly important that we help our veterans not only get back into society, but also to help them find jobs in order to make a living and support their families. Veterans are the hardest-working employees employers can find.”
Florida is home to the United States’ third-largest veterans population and the third-largest number of disabled veterans. The state is expected to experience a large influx of veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq as they resettle, retire, and move into the civilian workforce.