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Leadership Pasadena Partners with Verdugo Workforce Development Board to Serve Veterans

Leadership Pasadena (LP) and the Verdguo Workforce Development Board are partnering to provide enhanced services to veterans in a unique pilot program. Veterans will be able to utilize the many employment-based services offered by the Verdugo Jobs Center while they learn to be visible, productive community service leaders in the San Gabriel Valley—a dynamic combination of technical training and leadership empowerment.

Leadership Pasadena’s Community Leadership Course for Veterans is a unique program for post 9/11 veterans. It’s not a “crisis” program, but a 7-month strength-based comprehensive course for vets ready and willing to serve and lead again—but do not understand how to navigate in the civilian world and fast track their success as community leaders.

“Veterans have tremendous skills in leadership, technology, operations, crisis management, plus an inspirational service-driven work ethic - all of which is lost when veterans do not engage in their new civilian community, school, or job,” according to LP Veterans Services facilitator Lisa Raggio. “This course re-missions our veterans as community service leaders in our community, benefiting the veteran and the community, while they work on schooling or job placement.”

The LP course addresses leadership in the civilian world, civilian business culture and organization savvy, multi-generational leadership, non-profit Board training, the corporate landscape and the history, culture, arts and sciences of Pasadena and more.

In 2019, participants will be offered free, personalized job placement, training, and enhancement services through the Verdugo Workforce Development Board that serves veterans throughout LA County. Through the Verdugo Jobs Center, veterans will be provided job coaching and job placement services. They will be able to meet with a Veteran case manager and develop an individualized career plan and start taking the steps towards a desired job or career.

According to Judith Velasco, Executive Director of the Verdugo Workforce Development Board, “Leadership skills are essential in helping our Veterans become successful in the workforce. Traditional training programs are not enough - it is necessary to be able to provide meaningful services to Veterans who have held leadership roles in the military and help them transition their skills sets into the civilian workforce. The Community Leadership course for Veterans does just that, it fills the void of other training programs that might only focus on the hard skills.”

“This is an immense honor and opportunity for Leadership Pasadena to add such professional job training and enhancement tools from the Verdugo Jobs Center for our veterans. Jobs are always the #1 concern among veterans. Now, as we continue our focus on veterans’ passion for service and enable them to take leadership roles in our communities, they can also get outstanding job skill training and assistance from the Verdugo Jobs Center,” stated Leadership Pasadena Executive Management Consultant Cindy Bengtson.

Leadership Pasadena’s pilot course for veterans was completed on Sept 30, 2018. Comments from the veterans who graduated from the course include:

The course was fantastic. Educational, fun, and enriching. I enjoyed the people, topics, discussions, and networking. The most important takeaway was the emphasis on empowerment. Everything centered upon empowering veterans to succeed in the community.

As a veteran, it is easy to get caught up in the “we” mentality. This course helped me understand the value of “I” without being selfish.

I feel more confident in my abilities to succeed. This course was a confidence booster and a major encouragement to seek further success on the civilian side.


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