Oklahoma connects veterans to meaningful employment
By Christa Helfrey
Finding a post-military career is often one of the biggest obstacles veterans face when leaving service. Veterans often have extensive military training and experience, but this doesn’t always translate well to civilian jobs and can present challenges when communicating skills to potential employers outside the armed forces. Furthermore, many veterans face the daunting task of relocation after active duty and don’t know where to start looking for employment opportunities that fit.
Navy veteran Nicklas Garner knows firsthand the uncertainty that comes with entering civilian life. Fueled by the desire to aid other veterans through that experience, he was instrumental in implementing a solution that would ease the transition. Garner now leads the Office of Veterans Placement (OVP), a program that helps veterans find jobs in Oklahoma state government.
Housed under the Office of Management and Enterprise Services’ Human Capital Management division, OVP provides a variety of services and resources to support veterans as they navigate the hiring process and find state positions that match their abilities and experience. Veterans can meet with OVP in person, on the phone or virtually to receive employment counseling, interview coaching, assistance building a competitive resume, and help identifying transferrable skills and qualifications.
“Veterans bring a diverse background with them to any position that they work,” Garner said. “It's good for our culture here in the State Oklahoma. They're conditioned with teamwork in mind, and that's a great strength for any organization.”
Working in state government provides a unique opportunity for veterans to continue serving their country and their community in an impactful way. Many State of Oklahoma jobs require skills that are highly valued in the military, such as leadership, discipline, problem-solving and strategic planning. Bringing these skills to the table, veterans can contribute to important projects and initiatives that improve the lives of citizens and strengthen the state.
“I grew up in Oklahoma,” Garner said. “Upon leaving the military, I could have gone anywhere in the world, and I wanted to come back here. I'm grateful to continue serving and helping other veterans in this capacity.”
Oklahoma offers a range of benefits for veterans, such as tax exemptions, education benefits and health care services, and is adding more all the time. In addition to its relatively low cost of living, Oklahoma is home to several military installations, including Tinker Air Force Base and Fort Sill, that contribute to the state’s military-friendly community.
OVP services are available to any veteran discharged honorably or under honorable conditions. To apply for veterans placement, simply send the required documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org. If approved, you will receive a Veterans Placement Eligibility Form, which serves as a certificate of eligibility and lets state agencies know you meet qualifications to get an interview when applying for a position.
Visit vet.ok.gov to learn more and find out how you can transition from serving your country to serving the State of Oklahoma.