Job Readiness Program Helps Piquette Veterans Find Work

March 18th, 2011
Course instructor Ann Spaven helps Piquette resident Floyd Brooks. In the background, Glenda Mann, who is also a Piquette resident, works on her resume.

Piquette Square enabled formerly homeless veteran Clifton Bradley to get back on his feet. Now he is seeking a new walk of life that will lead him to what matters most: reuniting with his 10-year-old son.

“Once I get a stable job, I hope to get my own home and have my son stay with me,” Clifton, 50, says. “I love Piquette Square and my apartment here, but it is stepping stone to my goal of being independent.”

Clifton recently completed a four-day job-readiness course at Piquette Square for Veterans. The course helps unemployed veterans search for jobs that match their interests and abilities. It also increases their likelihood of securing work by enhancing their resumes and interview and self-presentation skills, and by connecting them with training and educational opportunities.

The job-readiness course at Piquette takes place in the new computer lab. It is sponsored by Macomb Community College, which received a grant from the Department of Defense. The course is open to Piquette residents and participants in ourHomeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP). Piquette Square houses 150 formerly homeless vets. HVRP helps veterans who are currently homeless find meaningful employment.

Nineteen veterans have completed the course, and three of them, including Clifton, have already found jobs. Others have interviewed for job openings and are hopeful about their chances.

Ann Spaven, an expert recruiter and job trainer, teaches the course.

“The people who took the course worked hard and helped each other a great deal,” Ann says. “The biggest challenge they face is the down economy, but they know that their job is to find a job.”

In the coming months, the course will be available to more Piquette residents and HVRP participants.

“The course is part of spectrum of support services offered at Piquette to help veterans rebuild their lives and rejoin the community,” says David Cohen, one of our HVRP specialists.

Clifton will begin his new job as a truck driver later this month.

“I enjoy driving and seeing new places, so I think it’s the perfect job for me right now,” Clifton says.

Once he earns enough money, Clifton wants to settle in Dearborn Heights near his mother, who could watch his son while he is on the road. His son currently lives with relatives of his deceased wife.

“Even though I’ve only been at Piquette a short time, I feel like I’ve come a long way already,” Clifton says. “I have many goals and aspirations that I am anxious to achieve.

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