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PVA From the Top - A United Purpose

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News October 2017

I’m fortunate my job is among my fellow veterans, other PVA members who want to improve the quality of life for all veterans and their families.

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As Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) national president, I get asked a lot of questions about PVA’s operations, programs and services. I love these questions because they give me the opportunity to share all of the great programs and work we do to help veterans. The more people know about PVA and what we do, the more veterans we’ll help. I want to share with PN readers the answer to one question I’ve been asked several times lately: “What’s the PAVE program?” Since October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about one of the most important programs that PVA offers.

Paving Access to Veterans Employment, or PAVE, is an award-winning program that serves PVA members, veterans, family members and caregivers nationwide who are seeking employment but face barriers. From newly injured veterans to retired career military men and women, PAVE counselors work one-on-one with each client to find them not just a job, but the right career. In its seven offices across the country, PAVE applies an evidenced-based holistic intervention model that incorporates both traditional and nontraditional vocational strategies and best practices to build the framework for its veteran-centric program. And it does so free of charge. Important to PVA members, PAVE also specializes in placing veterans with disabilities who may present with significant challenges to employment because of their injuries or environments.  

If you’re thinking of a new career or getting back to work, here are some of the ways PAVE counselors can help you: 

 

  • Identify opportunities that best fit your skills, education and individual goals
  • Identify resources and educational opportunities to enhance your skills
  • Assist with résumé development
  • Craft effective job search strategies
  • Propose job leads and networking opportunities
  • Sharpen interview skills
  • Connect and follow up with prospective employers

 

No other veterans service organization can speak to the issue of hiring severely disabled veterans like PVA can, which is why this year’s NDEAM theme, “Inclusion Drives Innovation,” inspired me to write about PAVE this month. I’m fortunate my job is among my fellow veterans, other PVA members who want to improve the quality of life for all veterans and their families. In this unified purpose, we feel a sense of inclusion. That’s what I want for all of you, and PAVE can help you find it.

Since it was established in 2007, PAVE has created a combination of 5,000 jobs and entrepreneurships. The story of one of those clients also answers another question I often get asked: “Can PAVE help my spouse?” The answer is yes. Laura Machado, wife of PVA member Edgar Machado, has just established her own photography business by working with a PAVE counselor. Now, she’s a caregiver, wife and mother with her own thriving business. These are the success stories that PAVE creates every day. Every one of those 5,000 placements represents the impact on a veteran’s life, a veteran who has a stronger support system around him or her and a veteran who has a feeling of inclusion. 

If you’re a PVA member, veteran, family member or caregiver who desires a job, please contact the PAVE team. Your next opportunity is waiting for you.

For more information, visit operationpave.org or call 800-424-8200 and ask for the PAVE program.

 

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PVA From the Top - A United Purpose

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