There is no doubt that our region has a strong connection to and appreciation for our nation’s military. The men and women who serve our country are part of the fabric of our community due in large part to our proximity to Fort Knox. That’s why in 2012, when veterans faced above average unemployment, the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board set out to determine why and how we and our regional partners could work together with leaders at Fort Knox to change that.
That foundational research led to the development of a veteran talent attraction model called Where Opportunity Knox, an initiative overseen by our partner, the Kentucky Indiana Exchange. We are proud to again invest in this model. This time we are helping grow the team of Regional Veteran Connectors (RVCs) who have been instrumental in the success of the initiative.
Since its inception, Where Opportunity Knox participating employers have hired more than 2,800 veterans and their spouses. The initiative leverages a strong partnership with the Army’s Transition Services, which is headquartered at Fort Knox, allowing our region to tap into the veteran talent pipeline like nowhere else in the nation.
The Where Opportunity Knox team not only showcases employment opportunities but also our region’s unique quality of place to both veterans and transitioning service members and their families.
That marketing effort is what helps to set the initiative apart from others around the country, but the true differentiator is the team of RVCs, who are usually veterans themselves. They advise, mentor and coach veterans and their families. RVCs provide highly personalized service in career exploration and connections, as well as finding the right geographic location for the veteran’s family.
That includes the Moss family, who were transitioning from Fort Riley, Kan., and heard of Where Opportunity Knox. Even before he hung up his uniform, Sgt. Moss and his wife spent two weeks in the region working with their Regional Veteran Connector to find the community and employment that was right for them.
We’re pleased to report that they now call Radcliff home and Sgt. Moss found a job during that first visit thanks to his Regional Veteran Connector.
The Moss family’s story is just one example of the tremendous impact the program is having and we want it to do even more. Thanks to funding from the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board, Where Opportunity Knox has announced the addition of retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Linda Larson as an RVC. Larson joins retired Lt. Col. Whitney Allen and the program’s executive director, Ann Reiter.
“We are so grateful to the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board for their ongoing commitment to this initiative,” said Reiter. “Linda is a terrific addition to the team. She will be a great resource for employers seeking veteran talent and veterans seeking opportunity.”
Make no mistake that while the board is intent on helping veteran job seekers, we are most especially helping our region’s employers tap into an exceptional pool of talent that will make their businesses stronger and make our region even more prosperous.
If you are an employer seeking talent or a veteran or veteran spouse seeking employment, visit whereopportunityknox.com.
Mo Miller chairs the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board and owns Stone Works, Inc. in Elizabethtown. The Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board oversees employment and training programs in an eight-county region that includes Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington counties. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.