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posted: 8/8/2014 1:11 PM

Seminar offers info about job training programs

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By Dru Bergman
Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans

The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans and Career Connect Metro West will host an information session on free training opportunities for high-demand manufacturing jobs.

The event is 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, at the DuPage Housing Authority, 711 E. Roosevelt Road, Wheaton.

Career Connect is a nonprofit organization founded by DuPage United and is committed to finding solutions for individuals seeking meaningful, long-term careers. The organization has partnered with the Jane Addams Resource Corporation to offer free training in computer numerical control machining and welding for qualified low-income individuals at the Technology Center of DuPage in Addison.

"DuPage County manufacturers will need to replace 9,000 retiring employees over the next decade," said Joe Dutra, Career Connect's lead coordinator. "We need to prepare qualified applicants to fill these positions, which offer good pay and benefits."

At the same time, many veterans struggle with the transition to civilian employment. The Illinois Discharged Servicemember Task Force reports that veterans -- particularly the newest generation of post-Sept. 11 veterans -- face greater challenges in finding work than their non-veteran peers.

Sixty-seven percent of post-Sept. 11 veterans in Illinois have only a high school diploma or equivalency, making it difficult to find sustainable employment in the current job market.

"The Career Connect–Jane Addams program could be a perfect fit for many of our returning heroes who have great discipline and work ethics as a result of their military service, but lack the specialized skills needed for today's manufacturing jobs," said Pamela Kostecki, executive director of Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans.

The training classes start in September, and Tuesday's event will allow potential participants to learn more about the program and begin the application process. The session is free, but space is limited.

For registration or additional information, contact Javon Harris at (630) 871-8387, ext. 617, or javon@mshv.org.

The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans is a nonprofit agency based in DuPage County that provides transitional and affordable housing, a comprehensive array of supportive services, and community outreach to help homeless and at-risk veterans and their families achieve self-sufficiency.

Founded by veterans in 2007, the Midwest Shelter operates on a vision of no veteran left behind due to homelessness, joblessness, poverty and/or mental-health issues. To donate, volunteer or learning more about the shelter, visit helpaveteran.org or call (630) 871-8387.

For information about Career Connect Metro West, visit dupageunited.org.

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