Job Training Program leads Soldier to New Life
Sgt. Robert Czerniak looked everywhere but under a rock to find a job after leaving active duty service.
“I looked on-line, I used word of mouth, I looked in the classified – you name it. I couldn’t find anything,” he said.
He joined the U.S. Army right out of high school and to date has served his country for over 10 years, mostly as a trainer for troops entering combat missions.
Before he was 28 years old, he’d deployed two times.
“I trained the troops on everything from handling weapons to medic issues,” said Robert, 28 and a mid-western native.
After coming off of active duty, he was re-assigned to his state’s National Guard and participated in weekend drills, which, besides his unemployment, became his only source of income for his wife and two small children.
When his unemployment benefits ran dry after two years of searching for work, he says he exhausted every job lead. “I felt completely useless. After 10 years of working everyday to go to just nothing. . .”
But his situation changed quickly when a new and innovative job training program was launched in 2012 between USA Cares and the Associated Builders and Contractors Association. The program offers intensive, professional trades training for post-9/11 veterans. It guarantees a job at the end of the training and pays trainees a living wage while they train.
Robert was contacted by USA Cares and offered a spot for electrician training.
“This has been a blessing,” he said. “This program is a good thing. This has been an opportunity to change my life and I’ve learned more in one month that I had learned in 28 years of living.”
“I’m at a crossroads. It’s now about my family. I need to support my family,” said Robert.
He said he would encourage any employer to consider hiring a vet. “They need to assess their work environment. A lot of people really don’t have the ability to learn quickly. You do that every day in the military. Military have that work ethic that they can only get from the military