David, an army veteran who served as a fire control equipment specialist in the 1980’s was laid off, had exhausted his unemployment benefits and feared losing his home. He had never used his VA benefits before, but he visited the Scioto County One Stop, run by the Community Action Organization of Scioto County for possible assistance with veterans services.

During his visit, David mentioned that he had applied for a job with the Portsmouth Ambulance Company and that they needed an additional ambulance mechanic, but could not afford to hire one at that time. His veteran representative from the One Stop, Jerry, contacted the Portsmouth Ambulance Company and learned that the general manager was interested in hiring David, but with the economy they could not afford it.

Jerry explained to the manager that he could take advantage of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit by hiring David, but while the manager said that would help, it would take time to see that benefit and uniforms and tools needed to be purchased for David as well. Jerry determined that the Ohio Vocation, Education & Training Services (Ohio VETS) program might be able to assist in this situation.

Ohio VETS is a pilot program at six Community Action Agencies throughout the state, including CAO of Scioto County, that offers education and training to assist veterans in finding meaningful employment at a living wage, and provide them and their families with other supportive services to help them attain self-sufficiency. Through the Ohio VETS program and other services, CAO of Scioto County was able to arrange an On-the-Job Training (OJT) agreement between David and the Portsmouth Ambulance Company.

The OJT agreement provided David with his needed tools and uniforms and paid a portion of his salary for a set period of time while he underwent on-the-job training. This allowed the Portsmouth Ambulance Company to hire David as their much-needed ambulance mechanic, creating a win-win situation for both David and the company.

For more information about Community Action programs in your area, visit www.oacaa.org. Note, not all Community Action Agencies offer job training programs.

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