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Overcoming injuries to become employed

photo of Eliseo Torres with James Thomas
Pictured is Torres, at left, with Thomas.

When Army veteran James Thomas’s injuries prevented him from being able to perform his job, TVC Veteran Career Advisor and Army veteran Eliseo Torres assisted him in finding another.

Thomas knew he could depend on Torres’s “guidance and encouragement” due to the previous success Thomas had with Torres’s assistance on his job hunt.

Thomas moved to Killeen and met Torres in 2022, after having served as head custodian for school districts in Corsicana and the Houston suburb of Klein. Prior to that, in his military service from 1998 to 2010, Thomas was a mechanic “with a significant background in leadership roles as an Abrams Tank and Bradley Mechanic,” said Torres.

When Thomas moved to Killeen, he visited the local Workforce Solutions Center. The team there determined he was an eligible veteran for TVC Employment Services and referred him to Torres. Together, they worked to get Thomas job ready. Thomas improved his resume, attended mock interviews, learned job search skills along with labor market information. They created a comprehensive employment plan that ultimately led to Thomas obtaining employment in his chosen career field. Additionally, during his job search, Thomas was referred to community partners for housing.

In June 2022, Thomas attended a hiring event at Fort Cavazos where he was hired on-site by General Dynamics as a mechanic. Just over a year later, in August 2023 Thomas left this position. “Unfortunately, due to injuries, he was unable to remain employed with General Dynamics,” said Torres.

At that point, Thomas again teamed up with Torres for professional guidance, resources and exploring career opportunities. By the end of February 2024, “Thomas achieved another significant milestone by accepting a position as Head Maintenance Custodian for Bell County,” said Torres.

“Thomas expressed deep gratitude for the continuous support provided by VCA Eliseo “E.T.” Torres. E.T. is a rising star in our district and does everything he can to help any and all veterans,” said TVC Veteran Employment Services Central Texas District Manager and Air Force veteran Tony Ramirez. “Mr. Thomas is just one example of E.T.’s persistence and determination to help.”

Find TVC Employment Services in your area at https://www.twc.texas.gov/directory-workforce-solutions-offices-services.

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