Army Veteran Combats Post-Military Employment Difficulties with Assistance from EDD

Many military veterans manage to transition into gainful civilian employment after finishing their military service. However, not everyone has a smooth conversion to a post-military career.

“It's really hard to land a job, especially when employers know that you're a veteran. Unless, you have a really good education,” said Army veteran, Hector Albert Ines.

Ines spent nearly six years as an active duty member in the Army. His transition to civilian life was especially tough, due to a back injury he suffered during his service.

Through Chapter 13, a federal program created to help disabled veterans find jobs, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) referred Ines to a team at the Employment Development Department (EDD) in Contra Costa County: Christopher Crisostomo, a Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Specialist (DVOP) and Joseph Erby, a Local Veterans' Employment Representative.

“Hector is a hard worker, motivated, and eager to learn. He continues to pursue different career avenues and is dedicated to assisting veterans, especially in the healthcare industry,” said Christopher Crisostomo.

While pursuing a career as a licensed vocational nurse he needed part-time employment, to attend school at night and take care of his two kids during the day. Ines received ongoing support from the Department veteran program representatives, who assisted him in writing his résumé and advised him about local job fairs, special trainings, and relevant job opportunities.

“Chris and everyone at the EDD were very helpful. Whatever services that I needed to land and get the job, they were there for me. I am very grateful,” said Ines.

Christopher Crisostomo (DVOP), who usually assists about 30 veterans a year, helped Ines land a job at the Veterans Accession House in Pittsburg as a program house manager. It works out perfectly with his busy schedule, and it’s right up his alley. The principle goal of the Veterans Accession House Program is to provide transitional housing for working and student veterans experiencing homelessness. The program includes on-site educational, vocational counseling and health coaching. Ines main job is to make sure all the veterans in the house are safe and healthy.

As a veteran helping other veterans, Ines has found work he truly enjoys doing. He has dedicated himself to assisting and giving back to military veterans, while working toward his longer-term career goals.

“I want to share my experiences with the veterans that I'm helping right now here in the Veterans Accession House, connecting them to other organizations and helping them find jobs, because they deserve everything we can give for serving this country,” said Ines.