Webster Hosts Career Workshop for Military Veterans

Oct. 19, 2012

Webster Hosts Career Workshop for Military Veterans

Underscoring Webster's commitment to serving the military, the University played host Oct. 16 to the Show-Me Heroes Work-Ready Employment Assistance Program (WREAP) career workshop for military veterans. Topics covered included skills translation, skills gap analysis, educational benefits, developing a career job search portfolio, interview techniques, an introduction to social media, and a question-and-answer session with St. Louis-area employers.

The WREAP workshop at Webster was the first of its kind in the state of Missouri. Carol Adams, Webster's associate vice president for Academic Affairs & Extended Campus Administration, worked with Lt. Col. Alan Rohlfing, director, Show-Me Heroes, to bring this event to Webster. Additional workshops are planned at Webster University's Missouri campus locations in Kansas City, Springfield, Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base.

In 2010, Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon launched the Show-Me Heroes initiative to help reconnect Missouri's veterans and members of the National Guard and Army Reserve with meaningful careers and showcase Missouri employers that have pledged to do so.

"Translating military skills is one of the most difficult components of moving from the military service to the civilian sector," said Lt. Col. Rohlfing.

"Many veterans struggle with trying to explain how military-specific positions, such as 'Command Sergeant Major' or 'Executive Officer,' might equate in a civilian work environment. This workshop at Webster University will help veterans translate their military service into terms civilian employers can better understand."

As of April 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics put the post-9/11 veterans unemployment rate at 12.4 percent average, and at 36.1 percent for the 18-24 age group. In addition, a Monster.com survey or more than 900 employers that same month revealed a gap between veterans' and employers' views, and a sense that veterans need to do a better job of explaining themselves to more successfully compete with the national job-seeker pool.