A bipartisan effort spearheaded by a pair of Oakland County commissioners is expected to help veterans better transition into civilian life by helping them find work.
The Veterans Internship Program, proposed by county Commissioner Jim Runestad (R-White Lake, Waterford) and county Commissioner David Woodward (D-Royal Oak), received the Board of Commissioners’ unanimous 25-0 blessing on Thursday, Nov. 1.
“Returning veterans have skills and training that can be transferred to new jobs,” Runestad stated in a press release. “With the right type of support, mentorship, and opportunity, this program can help veterans transition from military to civilian employment through a supportive work training experience.”
“Oakland County can be a leader in reducing employment among veterans,” Woodward stated. “We have a real opportunity to develop a meaningful program that serves veterans in an appropriate way for the service they gave to our country.”
Among the program’s goals are helping with the transition into the civilian workforce; building veterans’ skills and confidence; providing opportunities to develop on-the-job experience and training for a variety of careers in county government and the civilian workforce; supporting county departments and agencies in developing an understanding of the skills and abilities returning veterans offer to the county government workforce; and honoring veterans’ services, according to a press release.
Through the resolution successfully passed last week, county administration and varying departments have been directed to work with the county board in an effort to develop a plan and provide information on projected program costs within 45 days of the resolution’s adoption.
There are an estimated 100,000-plus veterans and their families living in the county, according to the Oakland County Veterans’ Services Department.