NextOp is Helping Service Members get a Head Start on the Next Phase of Their Careers - Bob Woodruff Foundation

NextOp is Helping Service Members get a Head Start on the Next Phase of Their Careers

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Reliable employment is an essential component for identity, forming social networks, and being able to afford life’s necessities. Employment can often be a critical part of the transition process for veterans shifting to civilian life. But the benefits of employing veterans are a two-way street.


The VA highlights many of the useful skills veterans bring to the workplace including:

  • excelling at teamwork
  • maintaining a strong sense of duty
  • being organized and disciplined
  • possessing a strong work ethic
  • demonstrating adaptability

The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF), with support from the NFL, grants to NextOp, an organization working to connect veterans with quality employment opportunities that suit their skills. NextOp has been working with the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge program. SkillBridge matches servicemembers nearing the end of their time in the military with employment and training opportunities in the civilian sector. Those eligible can use the last six months of their service to train, intern, or work directly with organizations. Service members continue to receive compensation and benefits coverage through the military during this time.

NextOp knows that the transition process immediately after exiting military service can be difficult, especially for those struggling to secure employment.

“The ability to support service members as they depart the military and make that arduous transition into the civilian sector can be overwhelming,” John Zavala, an Employment Coordinator at NextOp and Marine Corps veteran told BWF. “The SkillBridge program provides the opportunity to ease that transition, provide valuable civilian skills along with networking and navigating through individual career goals. NextOp will assist with aligning high caliber middle enlisted service members that are often overlooked with career opportunities in their desired fields.”

Not only is NextOp leveraging the SkillBridge program to help veterans find employment, but they have also brought on an intern from the program.

“To me, the opportunities that the SkillBridge program can arm transitioning service members with could potentially be the greatest weapon they will ever possess,” James Warren, SkillBridge intern at NextOp and current U.S. Marine. “The experience gained from working with the NextOp organization has been invaluable. The fears that I had when thinking about transitioning out of the military, I no longer have because I feel exceptionally confident going into the next chapter of my life, post-military, with NextOp’s assistance.”=

The SkillBridge program is also perfect for employers seeking to hire candidates with both the hard and soft skills that are ideal for the workplace.

“We were introduced to the SkillBridge internship program through our partnership with NextOp,” Joel Thames, Corporate Director of Human Resources at Performance Contractors, Inc. said. “With years of recruiting service members under our belt, we’ve seen firsthand the disconnect that takes place in transitioning from military careers to civilian careers—SkillBridge has provided us the tool to bridge that gap.” Through SkillBridge, we have the opportunity to engage with service members and find the right fit for them.”

For Middle-Enlisted Service Members interested in learning more about the SkillBridge Internship Program, contact NextOp through this registration form:

https://nextopvets.org/veteran-application/

For employers interested in learning more, contact [email protected].

// Image: Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock