Collaboration between veterans and Georgia Tech goes back to World War II

November 11, 2016 | By GTPE Communications
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For military veterans transitioning into civilian life, finding a new job or starting a new career comes with a unique set of challenges. From interpersonal skills to culture, learning and working as a civilian is often worlds away from those interactions as a member of our nation's armed forces. But the skills and experiences that veterans bring with them, following their service to our country, frequently leave a lasting legacy on the companies and institutions where they work and learn. Georgia Tech is no exception.

In 1944, Georgia Tech established the first Veterans Guidance Center in the southern United States. The Institute anticipated an influx of World War II veterans wanting to study in Georgia and around the South. With funding and additional staffing from the Veterans Administration, the Veterans Guidance Center at Georgia Tech advised any war veteran with a Georgia address to determine the best placement in a job, vocational school, or college. The center also provided counseling and mental health services, which are activities that formed the basis for the establishment of Georgia Tech's Psychology Department.

Former soldiers enrolling in colleges and universities around the nation under the GI Bill following World War II created a necessity for growth and placed Georgia Tech on track to become the modern research university it is today.

Georgia Tech remains committed to championing the impact that veterans have on the organizations they join after leaving military service. The Veterans Education Training and Transition Program (VET2), with courses offered online and on the Georgia Tech Savannah campus, is one way that Georgia Tech is working with enrolled active, transitioning, and recently separated service members to help them translate their valuable skills and experience to the civilian workforce.

Created in collaboration with retired Lt. Col. John W. Phillips, author of Boots to Loafers, Finding Your True North, the program’s VET2 101 course provides guidance for the transition to the civilian workforce, including resume-writing, interviewing, and what to expect upon being hired. But more importantly, the course promotes the unique impact that veterans can make on the organizations that hire them by placing enrolled veterans in three-week internships with partner companies.

While the internship is not a guarantee of a job for VET2 101 students, the fact that many course graduates quickly find employment speaks to the vital niche that military veterans are filling in industries otherwise facing a shortage of qualified candidates.

Veterans are no strangers to facing challenges and meeting them with confidence. Georgia Tech is proud to have played a role in assisting thousands of veterans over the past 72 years in meeting the challenge of transitioning to civilian life.