Joint effort to help North Las Vegas employ veterans

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BY SANDY LOPEZ

U.S. military veterans often have job skills that frequently do not match the abilities needed to fit a civilian lifestyle.

To help make a smooth transition back into society and the workforce, the city of North Las Vegas has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Teamsters Local 14 to create the Veterans Intern Program.

“When we get out of the service, nobody wants to hire us because we don’t have the needed experience for most civilian jobs,” said Larry Griffith, a veteran and secretary-treasurer for Teamsters Local 14. “Veterans know how to shoot an AK-47, but you don’t do that in the public or private sector. This program was created to give veterans an opportunity to learn valuable job skills.”

The program trains disabled veterans and places them in various job positions throughout the city to gain work experience. It was announced last November and launched in January.

City officials are hopeful it will result in much-needed help to the city, which had to drastically cut positions to save money during the recession.

“Our goal is to take disabled veterans and teach them how to be more marketable in the job market,” said Paul Sikora, contracts manager for North Las Vegas. “It’s also a win-win for the city because it provides another person there to help and assist and take on some of the workload in various positions that otherwise would not happen.”

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