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Employment Services prepares justice involved veterans for return to community

Katasha Gray and Mike Calhoun of the Texas Veteran Commission’s (TVC) Veteran Employment Services (VES) North Texas District team prepare justice involved veterans to return to their communities with job search skills and job readiness training, plus employment leads.

“Their workshops are very beneficial and have had an impact on justice involved veterans in Tarrant County. So much so, these veterans increase their chances of finding employment and significantly reduce the chances of recidivism, once released,” said Ron Abrams, VES North Texas District Outreach Coordinator and Army veteran.

photo of Katasha Grayphoto of Mike Calhoun

Gray, an Army veteran, pictured at left, and Calhoun, a Marine Corps veteran, attend the Tarrant County Veteran Treatment Court (VTC) Program on the first Wednesday of every month. The pair conducts Job Readiness and Self-Awareness/Responsibility Workshops for the veterans in the VTC program*. They stay after the court session to answer veterans’ questions on assistance with gaining employment.

In addition to the monthly Wednesday court sessions, Gray and Calhoun conduct workshops on the first and third Monday of each month at the Tarrant County Jail Green Bay male facility.

Beyond the job readiness and self-awareness training, veterans learn where to find workforce job centers and TVC Employment Services team members after their release.

photo of Ron Abrams

“As an added value,” said Abrams, “They also receive employability reports, fidelity bonding, skills assessments, help creating a 30 second elevator speech, plus, assistance with resume writing and understanding the Applicant Tracking System.”

“This team (Gray and Calhoun) has made a significant impact on the justice involved veterans within these institutions and has further solidified the trust between themselves and court staff,” said Abrams, pictured.

*VTC are rigorous programs designed to provide justice involved veterans resources and assistance to return to their communities and families. Each veteran has an individualized plan to complete over a period of several months. Regular court appearances are scheduled to monitor progress. If the veteran successfully completes the treatment, charges may be permanently removed.

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