Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
The Fort Leavenworth Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program has many resources to help transitioning service members successfully find employment upon leaving service.
Now, SFL-TAP is offering similar resources to veterans and family members with the addition of team member Dwayne Pratt, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program veterans employment representative.
“The people who work in (SFL-TAP) are contracted to assist transitioning military, which excludes the veteran and family community,” said Brett Rosene, SFL-TAP transition services manager. “I have been working with the state for a couple of years now trying to bring in some of their expertise with employment from their workforce partnership under the Department of Commerce, and we finally have that workforce expert from the state working with us here and that is Dwayne.”
In his role, Pratt can help with resumé building, job searching, job planning and teaching job seekers how to answer interview questions in a positive manner.
Additionally, Pratt said there are training and education programs through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act he can recommend.
“Anything they need to help them get a job, we can work with to help them do it,” Pratt said. “If we don’t have the resource readily available right then, we can find somebody that does provide a resource to give them that help.”
For example, Pratt said he has worked with Goodwill and the Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store to help veterans shop for appropriate interview attire. He said he hopes to work with local barbershops in the future.
“(This service) is needed,” Pratt said. “If we can’t help support the family members then that is one more thing for the soldier to worry about. If we can take that load off and help support the family members also, it is less burden and it helps support the family all together.”
Youths ages 16-24, military spouses, veterans and transitioning service members are eligible to use this service. Pratt is available Monday and Wednesday at the Resiliency Center, 600 Thomas Ave., and Tuesday and Thursday at the Workforce Center, 515 Limit St., Leavenworth, Kan. On Fridays, Pratt will be at either location.
“Utilize this resource,” Rosene said. “There are a lot of opportunities that the state provides that we at SFL-TAP are not experts in, but Dwayne is. Initially, Dwayne is here Mondays and Wednesdays, but if we see a demand for his services start to increase, the state Department of Commerce has already stated that they would increase his time here if needed.”
For more information, call 684-2539 or (913) 651-1855 or e-mail Dwayne.Pratt@ks.gov.