Veterans aid position renewed

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A grant-funded position that helps veterans transition into the workplace has been renewed at St. Cloud State.

The university, partnering with the Central Minnesota Warrior to Citizen Initiative, has been approved by Americorps to host a VISTA position for 2012-13.

"I’d like to acknowledge the work of our current VISTA, Brian Oduguwa. He has laid the ground work that will enhance veteran success and employability. Recognition of his achievements contributes heavily in determining if we are granted the position the following year," said Jerry Bulisco, assistant dean of students.

The Warrior to Citizen Initiative is a volunteer organization focused on addressing issues encountered by deployed and returning military personnel. It represents nine communities in the surrounding area, enjoying strong support from the National Guard, Army Reserve.

St. Cloud State is the largest higher education institution in the region and the second largest in Minnesota, with more than 200 academic programs and more than 60 graduate degrees. The university serves a population of more than 600 veterans.

VISTA will work to address transition and employability of veterans in Central Minnesota. Planned areas of focus include a Veterans Resource Center at SCSU addressing student issues, and working to reduce the unemployment rate for veterans. This position supports two organizations. VISTA must be focused and organized, and be able to prioritize multiple projects. Communication with both entities is critical. Guidance thru the supervisor and members of both entities is readily available, as both are working toward similar goals. VISTA will work with businesses, local governments, educational institutions, and non-governmental organizations to address a veteran unemployment rate double that of the general population. VISTA will research employment issues thru surveys and direct discussions to develop programs to raise awareness among employers.

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