GTPE’s Champion of Veterans Appointed to State Workforce Development Board

September 02, 2015 | By Shamika Hill

Renowned for his dedication to helping veterans succeed in the civilian workforce, James Wilburn, director of military academic programs for Georgia Tech Professional Education, was appointed to the State Workforce Development Board by Governor Nathan Deal. The swearing in ceremony took place on July 27, 2015.

Wilburn’s track record makes him the ideal candidate for a role that entails advancing the governor’s state workforce development initiatives. Among his achievements at Georgia Tech Professional Education is his leadership of the Veterans Education, Training, and Transition Program (VET2), which started in 2013 and soon yielded promising results.

Within a year, VET2 showed a 100 percent job offer rate for veterans completing the program, and saw its sponsorship engagement grow from 15 to 49 companies. The comprehensive four-week program is the first of its kind in the nation, placing Georgia and GTPE in the spotlight for finding meaningful solutions to issues related to hiring veterans.

Apart from spearheading innovative programs, Georgia Tech Professional Education's director of military academic programs is known for his compassion for veterans. Having spent 22 years in the U.S. Army and working daily on empowering former soldiers to integrate into the civilian workforce, Wilburn has a deep understanding of the unique challenges they face.

“I’ve seen first hand the difficulties servicemen and women face when transitioning from military to civilian life. From how a supervisor differs from a commanding officer to interviewing and creating a LinkedIn profile, veterans need guidance in navigating the nuances of the private sector,” he explained. The VET2 program, tailor made to meet these needs, enables veterans to overcome job-related obstacles and prosper as civilians.

Wilburn’s military background includes roles as course director, operations officer, and instructor in the United States Military Academy. He earned a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University, a master’s degree from Indiana University, and a doctorate from Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Kristen, live in Savannah.