UWS talks education and employment for veterans

By KBJR News 1

February 3, 2014 Updated Feb 3, 2014 at 6:33 PM CST

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.COM)

Since the Veteran and Non traditional Center at UWS opened in 2012 it's received numerous acclamations.

"We have a hundred or so veterans I believe here on campus, I've seen the growth on campuses and it's centers like this that give the encouragement," says John Socos WI Veteran Affairs Secretary.

The Veteran Center at UWS has helped numerous vets make the difficult transition from military life to the life of a student.

"When I got out of the military last January and I immediately started college so for me I felt like hey, I'm 29 years old I'm going to walk into a classroom with a bunch of 18 or 19 year olds, I'm a non–traditional student so acclimating myself back into the civilian life was something I really needed to overcome," says Pete Lipske a US Air Force vet and now UWS student.

"Sometime all you need is somebody with the same experiences to talk to. You can't really talk to people that came fresh out of high school straight to college because they haven't gone through the same things, they haven't seen the same things," says US Navy vet Cory Hokans.

One of the goals of the center is to help veterans translate skills used in the military in a way that allows employers to see their usefulness in the workplace.

"A lot of times it's difficult to convey skills in the military and compare it to something that's going on in the civilian community," says Wade Josheph, US Navy vet and Vice President of the Veterans Club at UWS.

"They have resume classes and building classes to try and adapt your skills to the modern workforce," Hokan adds.

When military skills are recognized and then utilized vets find themselves optimistic about their futures instead of overwhelmed.

"You bring a lot of technical skills to the table, leadership skills, you gotta sell that when you go in there," says Socos.

Advice that Pete Lipske is applying in his own life.

"So now I'm working with taking the training I'm going to get from the federal aviation administration and the training I got from the military and getting college credit for that."

"Having a veterans center here has made UWS such a better place for me," Hokins says.

Secretary Socos says the goal is to build more centers like the one at UWS throughout the state.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware
gware@kbjr.com