Troops to Teachers sees an opportunity to fill two needs at once – help veterans find jobs after they leave the military and fill a teaching shortage.
“There’s such a high demand for veterans as teachers because so many administrators have used veterans before and they’re so impressed by what they’ve had,” Ronald Holmes, program specialist for Troops to Teachers, said.
The Texas chapter of Troops to Teachers joined other organizations Thursday for the Texas Workforce Commission’s “Hiring Red, White and You” event. The goal of the job fair was to show veterans they have other career opportunities after leaving the military.
“Our team is here to make sure that whatever a veteran needs from the moment they’re planning to exit to the moment they start their new job, understand all the steps in between,” Tiffany Daniels, director of communications for Workforce Solutions Capital Area, said.
Holmes is also a veteran and says he wishes these types of resources were available when he was transitioning out of the military. He eventually went into teaching and uses both experiences to engage with other veterans in their career changes.
“I put myself in their position,” he said. “I know what it was like coming out and not knowing a whole lot.”
Holmes says many skills acquired in the military can convert into what a classroom teacher can use. “Even though you don’t have a degree in education, there’s still a possibility that you can come and teach,” he said.
Troops to Teachers offers financial assistance through a stipend up to $5,000, which is meant to cover expenses associated with certification or licensing.
“All of our veterans that are in schools now have at least a five year retention rate,” Holmes said. “Staying at one school for five years – that’s like a principal’s dream.”