Community Partner Spotlight: USO Colorado Pathfinder Program
Helping transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses launch careers.
This Veteran’s Day and everyday, we thank all military veterans for their service and longstanding commitment to our country. We want to take a step back and say thank you to one of our military and veteran community partners, the USO Colorado Pathfinder Program.
Turing School has partnered with the USO Colorado Pathfinder Program since 2019, helping support transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses explore an interest in working in the tech industry and computer programming.
We spoke with Ron Kriete, Program Manager for the USO Colorado Pathfinder Program to learn more about their offerings and how they support their clients:
“The USO Pathfinder Program can be thought of as a resource hub for all transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses. We provide our clients with valuable resources and connections to help build their action plan into a smooth transition into civilian life, including employment, education, events and more.”
As the Program Manager for USO Colorado Pathfinder Program, Ron manages a team of three Transition Specialists who build transition action plans together with their clients.
“We provide a customized approach for each of our clients. They work one on one with a Transition Specialist to share more about what they are interested in pursuing. From the moment they sign up for our program, our Transition Specialists ask questions, share resources and provide individualized support so each client can transition into the career or education of their choosing.”
The USO Colorado Pathfinder Program supports their clients in five key areas; employment, education, financial readiness, mentorship and all things related to VA benefits. Ron shared that almost 95 percent of their work is currently centered around helping veterans and their family members seek and secure employment.
“Our team thinks of our program like a buffet. Clients come to us and we provide a menu of options for them to choose from and explore, in a wide variety of employment industries. Typically this includes resources from community partners, virtual and in person networking events, workshops like Turing’s Try Coding classes and even free LinkedIn headshots. We provide clients with a holistic network of opportunities, all so that they can determine what exactly they want to do post transition.”
One of the areas that their clients are commonly interested in pursuing is the tech industry. Ron has noticed that more transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses are interested in the benefits of working in tech, including flexible schedules, remote or “work from anywhere” options and starting salaries as high as $75,000 for their first job.
“More and more, I’ve noticed that employers are looking for people who have certifications in tech or have work experience. They are valuing that almost over anything else, so I would encourage people interested in tech to explore more formal certification training.”
Turing School and Ron share the similar belief that veterans make outstanding software developers and employees in tech.
“Employers in tech (and every industry) should hire veterans because they are some of the most dedicated individuals you can find. They know how to get the task at hand done, have such a strong work ethic, know how to work on a team and are ultimately great at working in high pressure situations.”
As a nonprofit in the community, the USO Colorado Pathfinder Program takes care of its service members, from the moment their members enlist, through their assignments and deployments, and as they transition back to their communities.
If you are transitioning service member, veteran or military spouse interested in learning more about your career options, visit the USO Pathfinder website click the red button to sign up to speak to a Transition Specialist. They’ll meet with you one on one and ask questions to determine what is best for you. They’ll work with you to identify your personal and professional goals and build your future plan and roadmap.
If you are an employer interested in hiring a veteran from Turing School, check out Turing School’s alumni job board, use the filter feature and search for alumni who have “military” as their previous career.
Finally, if you are a transitioning service member, veteran or military spouse interested in exploring software development or even just the tech industry, please use the promotion code VETS100 to attend any of our upcoming workshops and events for free. Check out the full list of upcoming events or contact email@example.com with any questions.
Turing School’s program takes a considerable amount of time and focus and we have found that veterans are keenly able to make the transition quite well.
We are so thankful for community partners like the USO Colorado Pathfinder Program who support transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses and encourage them to explore career options in tech.
Turing school is eligible to take the GI Bill® a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.