Cedar Rapids program tries to connect veterans with jobs



By Alison Gowans

Donnell Williams had five job interviews March 19. He hopes one of those works out before his unemployment benefits expire next week.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy who served in Iraq, he is looking for work with the assistance of Ready to Serve, a new organization run from the Iowa Veterans Welcome Center in Cedar Rapids.

The organization, housed in the Welcome Center’s location in the Veteran’s Memorial Building on May’s Island, aims to connect veterans like Williams with local employers.

“I’ve met a lot of guys who have quit looking for work,” said Ready to Serve founder Charles Elias. “I’m not asking for a handout, I’m just asking employers to give us consideration and a chance at their business.”

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