Doug Williams wants veterans to know the state has a job for you
June 1, 2016
Doug Williams was hired to fill the newly created position of Nevada State Veterans Coordinator. His job: Finding veterans jobs in state government.
"There's such a diverse range of occupation groups and classifications that we have," he said.
And those men and women exiting the service have experience and skills that fit a wide range of those different state jobs.
"There are some folks out there with tremendous skill sets we could use," Williams said.
He said just a week or two ago, he held an executive transition class for "about 30 full bird colonels getting ready to separate." He said the state is always looking for that kind of management experience.
Williams said there are other programs focusing on veterans that operate in state government but that most of them are more at a strategic level, providing services to those people exiting the military.
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"I'm more where the rubber meets the road, working with veterans one on one."
Williams said the different branches of the military have programs to help people transition to civilian live, but that those programs "are run and managed at the Department of Defense level so they don't have the flexibility to take into account the local market resources."
"As a veteran, you don't really know what's out there," Williams said. "It's hard to focus if you don't know what options there are."
As a result, he said many times, those individuals haven't identified their skills and background.
He said that's where he comes in, helping to match those veterans up with positions in state service that fit them. But first, he said, he has to get the word out to veterans and active military members that his newly created office is up and running.
Williams said he is attending events whenever possible to do that and working with Work for Warriors, a nonprofit that places vets in the private sector.
And coming soon, he said, there will be a tab for veterans to hit on the state Human Resources Department website at http://www.hr.nv.gov.
Williams said he tells veterans state service can be a very goods fit in part because it has more structure than the private sector and, like the military, continues public service.
"As a veteran, I can definitely speak for a lot of the ones I talk to, it's very important to continue on where you feel you are serving something larger than yourself," he said. "Sometimes that's a difficult thing to find in the private side, that kind of being part of a larger purpose, larger goal."
He said that aspect of state service "is definitely a draw" for vets.
Williams comes to the job with human resources experience. He finished 21 years in the Air Force at Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada, has worked with the Red Cross connecting people with private employers.
He said he still has a lot of connections in the military and has an agreement with Nellis to put together a state employment seminar for those getting ready to leave the service. That event will be held in August and he said he'll bring state agencies to help both veterans and their spouses become more aware of what state service has to offer.
After that, he said he wants to do the same thing at Naval Air Station Fallon and everywhere else he can touch base with veterans.
"It's fun," he said. "I really love my job. I never would have thought I'd end up here. It's ironic because my father was a (Nevada) state employee for more than 20 years.