It’s no secret that Colorado Springs is home to a strong military veteran community, due in part to the large presence of U.S. military bases and commands in the region. Colorado Springs is proud to be home for so many who have served, and is often ranked as one of the best cities in the country for veterans. Part of the foundation of this enduring relationship is the city’s vast array of programs that help veterans integrate into the local workforce and succeed in their post-service careers. Veterans serve as an excellent resource for Colorado Springs employers, offering unique skill sets, proven dedication and experience that translates to a wide variety of civilian careers. Here’s a look at some of the groups, initiatives and businesses that are supporting veterans to find jobs or develop their careers in Colorado Springs:
Offered by the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP), this entrepreneurial education and training program offers classes locally each month for veterans looking to get more involved in the business world. Located at Schriever, Buckley and Peterson Air Forces Bases as well as Fort Carson, classes go in-depth to help vets start businesses, access start-up capital and get personalized technical assistance.
For those who have served, sometimes the best career help comes from fellow veterans. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has Veteran Employment Specialists that serve as one-on-one career coaches for fellow veterans, and utilize their own past experience to help with things like navigating the job search and translating military experience to civilian job responsibilities. The CDLE partners with the Pikes Peak Workforce Center (as well as other workforce centers across the state) on the Hire a Vet program to promote the hiring of veterans through workshops, training and grant programs, and career counseling.
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) has created the Boots to Suits program to support veterans while they are in school to ensure they transition to successful careers. Boots to Suits pairs student veterans with mentors in the Colorado Springs community who have served and have found success in the workforce. The program assists with career preparation, networking opportunities, and reintegration into the working community–all supported by UCCS’ McCord-Herbst Student Veteran Center.
The Military Affairs Council (MAC) has served as the backbone of the Colorado Springs military community since its inception in 1951. The MAC helps veterans network and build relationships with local businesses, and strengthen their relationship with the surrounding community and workforce as a whole. The strong member base of the MAC forms numerous committees–which directly include members of the local military–to provide outreach, financial support, and community relations. The result? A city deeply invested in the long-term success of its veterans’ careers.