When Tom Roach left the Army after 20 years, he just wanted one thing in order to return to life in the civilian world -- a chance.
"When I first came into the program, I was just looking for kind of a way to get my foot in the door," Roach said.
He became a corporate fellow in the Hiring Our Heroes program put on by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Hiring Our Heroes partners with companies to train veterans and put them in real working situations over a 12-week period.
"For a lot of veterans, we find it very hard or difficult to translate those hard and soft skills that we learned over our careers into what civilian employers are looking for," Roach said.
He is doing consulting work for an IT company called Slalom. Roach's experience with technology while working in intelligence for the Army prepared him for work in the private sector.
'The Hiring Our Heroes program is an absolutely wonderful way for helping us to take a no-risk approach to hiring veterans and seeing what a veteran might offer their company," Roach said.
Now, Slalom's General Manager Brian Turner has a chance to take an extended look at Roach as a candidate for a possible permanent position.
"Our veterans have such great skills, leadership, professionalism, work ethic and then an ability to adapt," Turner said.
He says more companies should look into helping veterans transition to the workplace because it's the right thing to do.
"You talk about a group that serves the community and spent their life, great sacrifice, service protecting our community and asks for very little," Turner said. "So, being able to reach out and support them has been amazing."
For Roach, he says the experience has been life changing as he delves into civilian life full-time.
"I was just expecting them to give me a shot and they have far, far exceeded that," Roach said.
If you want to find out more the Hiring Our Heroes program, click here: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/hiring-our-heroes