Las Vegas Program Helps Military Vets Get Jobs - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Program Helps Military Vets Get Jobs

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LAS VEGAS -- After years of military service, some veterans are facing a daunting job search.

Organizers of the Boots to Business Program say veterans have great skills, but don't always know how to best present them to potential employers.

MGM Resorts International and the American Red Cross offer a training course to help more former military members to find a job.

Six years of active duty and touring around the world with the U.S. Navy gave Jonathan Wei's life meaning and purpose.

"It let me change what my life would have been into what it is now and I'm eternally grateful to the Navy for that," Wei said.

He pursued his education in the field earning a master's degree. He's also bilingual and has experience cracking codes, but that didn't help him in the job market.

"I couldn't find any work at all and what people kept telling me is that my skills weren't directly transferable into a civilian career and because of this I wasn't getting picked up," he said.

Wei was unemployed for two years until he found Boots to Business. It's a 12-week course where veterans go through management training and courses to help them adjust back to civilian life. About 15 graduates have been hired since the program was created last year.

The graduates can be found in many departments at MGM including the kitchen, the front desk, and even at the corporate level. Recently the hotel-casino corporation gave the Red Cross a $250,000 grant to expand Boots to Business into four other cities. MGM's human resources department says people in the military have a wealth of experience, but don't always know how to translate that to the civilian work place.

The program highlights core skills such as leadership and adaptability. Wei, who is now a hotel front desk supervisor, said the job has given him a sense of purpose.

"It really makes me feel like I have a place."

Currently, a group of 40 veterans are going through the Boots to Business training course. It's expected around 15 may be placed into positions at MGM Resorts International.

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