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Army veteran Angel finds the help he needs with the Frederick County American Job Center - Workforce Development and Adult Learning

Army veteran stands at the bottom of his stairs

Due to health issues, thirty-five year Army veteran Angel lost his civilian job with a Fort Detrick defense contractor in January 2020. After a significant time on Active Duty, he also retired from the Army Reserves in May 2020. In the meantime, Angel tried to open his own handy man business. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was forced to delay that particular dream. He soon found himself unemployed, low on cash, in need of health care, and in danger of not being able to pay his rent or car payments. Angel decided to contact the Frederick County American Job Center and ask for help.

After speaking with Job Service Specialist Jen Eberhardt, Angel was given information for some local resources. Frederick County Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialist Kevin Madara was consulted for housing issues and other resources. Mr. Madara made contact with Angel after having him screened virtually for significant barriers to employment by Job Service Specialist James Oberhaus (Washington County). Angel soon found himself receiving case management services in the Jobs for Veterans State Grants Program with a DVOP.

While receiving services with the DVOP, Angel was referred to multiple ancillary agencies, which helped to provide him the resources he needed to pay his rent, buy groceries and gas, receive health care, and file claims for his disabilities. Mosaic Inc. Case Manager and veteran Tami Hardesty helped deliver funds to pay Angel’s rent for three months. He also received financial assistance from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and St. Vincent de Paul, as well as food assistance from the Asian American Center, Salvation Army, and the Frederick Community Action Agency. Angel was referred to Maryland 211 for consultation for any other needs he had, and they proved helpful to him as well. The DVOP referred Angel to an online application for VA Health Care and encouraged him to apply for disability benefits through the Ebenefits web portal. He received health care coverage with the VA just as his civilian coverage was about to expire, and he is currently receiving continuing care with them.

Angel persevered through his many obstacles and worked hard in case management on his résumé and job search, regularly reporting on his progress as well as difficulties. He eventually interviewed for a dream job as a Peace Corps Transportation Fleet Manager in Washington DC. After a lengthy interview and vetting process for a clearance, Angel was offered the position he had been coveting for months. He is now supporting the Peace Corps mission as a Fleet Manager in charge of over 600 vehicles in 139 countries and is extremely happy with his position.

Angel’s success is due to his personal resilience, no doubt a product of 35 years of Honorable service in the US Army. He makes sure to credit his referral partners who helped him along the way, and he is very grateful for all the assistance that helped lead to his success and kept his spirits up as he fought through one of the most difficult times of his life. Angel states, “Army training, along with the community support I received, has resulted in a prosperous career for me. I’d like to thank all who helped me along the way.”

From July 2019 – June 2020, over 3,600 veterans took advantage of services under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Titles I (Adults, Dislocated Workers and Youth) and III (Wagner-Peyser Employment Services). During that same time period, over 1,000 eligible veterans received services through the Jobs for Veterans State Grant, which provided funding for dedicated staff to serve the individual career and training needs of veterans with significant barriers to employment.