COLORADO SPRINGS — This pandemic has impacted us all in different ways, but one thing is certain: It continues to be our mission here at news5 to work alongside you as we all rebound.
This time, we are featuring Prep Connect 360, a free program that's helping service members find a job as they transition back into civilian life.
Casey Wainwright has been in the army for 20 years, since he was a 17-year-old high school graduate.
Now at 38 years old, he's less than a week from leaving that familiarity behind and returning to civilian life.
It's an overwhelming process for service members since up to this point, so many decisions have been made for them.
But that's Prep Connect 360 is there to help.
It's a one-week course that takes place at Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center. It teaches things like interviewing skills, resume building, and it's run by volunteers who want to help service members - and their spouses - find their dream career.
Wainwright says he grew up on tanks during his time in the Army. He was armor crewman, becoming an Abram's master gunner.
So, he's used to planning and executing operations, and now understands how to apply those skills to the job hunt.
"Going into probably one of the weirdest times to look for a job that anyone's experienced in a long time," he explained. "So having this course here has felt like a safety net and a lifeboat in a time of need."
"You're excited that the opportunities are out there," said the course instructor, Amy Phillips. She works as a Military Relations Specialist at the Pike Peak Workforce Center. "But at the same time, you're like, 'It's too much to figure out and so I need someone to point me in the right direction.'"
The program is made possible thanks to the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, and classroom size is at a smaller capacity because of the pandemic. So, instead of about 20 students, they can only seat about 12 to follow social distancing guidelines.
To be eligible, you must be a veteran, active duty military, or a military spouse.
If you are interested in signing up for this program, you can email a two-page resume to email@example.com.