Balboa Project: Enabling Wounded Warriors To Join Workforce

August 29, 2007

As you all know, one of the topics that I concentrate on quite frequently, has to do with military medical issues, as it pertains to treatment, rehabilitation and employment. Many of our Wounded Warriers who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan will not be able to continue with the Military careers for various reasons. That should not prevent them from obtaining and keeping viable employment, so that they are able to remain in the workforce. For many this is a huge issue, as being in the military was all they knew. Because of the types of injuries many of our Wounded Warriers have sustained, many aren’t sure what their future is going to hold for them, or if they’ll even be able to work. The US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment (ODEP) is working to make sure these young men and women DO have options, and they’ve teamed up with companies in the private sector to ensure that they have the training to obtain employment in the IT field.

The US Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment(ODEP), parterning with the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and Cisco has created a Transition Training Academy (TTA). This academy is a pilot project which prepares disabled veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq for job opportunities, by helping them to hone their IT skills and providing them with a marketable credential in the employment area and CISCO certification. Courses taught at the TTA include networking, computer and software support, Small Office Home Office (SOHO) support and this courses were taught at levels ranging from beginner to advance levels, depending on the experience of the individual student.

The first class, which consisted of 20 Sailors and Marines graduated from the program in early August. Each student was exposed to a myriad of technology diciplines, each received CISCO certification and were then introduced to potential employers at a privately held job fair. The program, which offers web-based learning and online training support via email and chat rooms provides an opportunity for the veterans to continue learning after the completion of their formal classroom training.

The DOL is currently in the process of exploring the development of a program that will be able to be replicated at Military Medical Treatment facilities across the country. They are also exploring the expansion of the program to include other career fields as well.

Being very aware, that many of the Wounded Warriors have needs that make it difficult for them to work in a regular office setting, ODEP has researched and implemented Telework, as a viable employment option for people with disabilties, especially returning disabled service members and disabled veterans. By utilizing Telework, employees who have complex needs can work in a more flexible environment, for example in a home office or Telework center, utilizing computers and other communications technology to perform their jobs.

Partners in this project are the Department of Labor Veteran’s Employment and Training Service, several government and private sector agencies such as, ODEP, the Naval Medical Center of San Diego, California Employment Development, the Job Accomodation Network (which is funded by ODEP), Teachers Without Borders, Cisco, Osoft, Custom Guide and Inverness Technologies.

This is a fantastic opportunity for our Wounded Warriors and one that I hope to see spread across the Country. Programs such as this will go a long way in ensuring that our Wounded Warriors won’t join the lines of unemployed, but instead will have viable options to receive training and education, so that they can continue to provide for themselves and their families. As I learn more about the Balboa Project, I’ll keep our readers informed.

To find out more information about the Transitional Training Academy and Balboa Project, please visit the TTA website, listed below. A the website, you’ll find a list of resources and information about their programs, as well as news releases. Please take some time to check out what they’re making available for our Wounded Warriors.

Transitional Training Academy


2 Responses to “Balboa Project: Enabling Wounded Warriors To Join Workforce”

  1. Richard Reynolds on August 29th, 2007 9:28 am

    As project lead and instructor for the TTA program I was amazed at the enthusiasm that the vets at Balboa had for the courses. It was a privilege to work with them and share information that may make their transition to a new career, a little easier.
    It is anticipated that this program will continue at Balboa and replicated in other locations around the USA.
    Whatever we can do for those that give us their all, we must do!!!

  2. Terri on August 29th, 2007 9:43 am

    Thanks for stopping by A Soldier’s Mind Mr. Reynolds. Thank you for the valuable service that you’re taking part in providing for our Wounded Warriors. I look forward to seeing this program spread across the country.

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