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Helping Justice Involved Veterans with their job search

Akilah George

Justice Involved Veterans in El Paso improved their job search interaction skills, including how to address the difficult issues of their involvement in the criminal justice system, with a mock job fair in early May 2023. Taking part in the event were Texas Veterans Commission’s (TVC) local Veteran Employer Liaisons Darrell Henderson and Irma Vicentainer.

The pair worked with Lauren Deckelbaum, a teacher at Federal Corrections Institution/Federal Prison Camp La Tuna. Decklebaum works with Justice Involved Veterarns to help prepare them for employment after their release. Pictured from left are Vicentainer and Henderson and. Both are veterans themselves. Henderson having served in the Army and Vicentainer in the Air Force.

“Justice involved veterans are a special population served under the JVSG (Jobs for Veterans State Grants) program and are eligible for employment services provided by TVC’s Employment Services branch,” said Scott Graves, TVC Employment West Texas District Outreach Coordinator and Army veteran.

The JVSG program provides federal funding for dedicated staff to provide individualized career and training related services to eligible veterans with significant barriers to employment and help employers fill their workforce needs with job seeking veterans.

photo of Scott Graves

“A total of 122 inmates participated in a mock job fair and worked through mock interviews to help them understand how they should interact with employers and address difficult issues such as their involvement in the criminal justice system.  The participants learned much from the events and expressed their gratitude towards those focused on preparing them for their new lives after incarceration,” said Graves, pictured.

The La Tuna staff expressed their appreciation for the contributions of Henderson and Vicentainer in making the job fair a success. “Because of you, there will be a positive ripple effect within the community. Thank you for bestowing hope that success can be achieved.”

photo of Irma and Darrell with certificates of appreciation from La TunaCertificate of Appreciaton to Texas Veterans Commssion Team for helping at job fair.

Get assistance with your job search from TVC Veteran Employment services. the TVC Veteran Employment Services team is in 90 locations across state including 70 American Job Centers.  Find your local office at 

TVC Veteran Employment Services receives federal funding. For more information visit Stevens Amendment.

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