The United States of America has been celebrating Labor Day for over 130 years. It’s a day to recognize and honor the achievements of Americans who work tirelessly every day to contribute to the needs of society. At the IVMF, we have the opportunity to add to the labor force assisting veterans, service members, and their families in the areas of career training and entrepreneurship. With that said, we asked some of our employees to share their thoughts on Labor Day and what it means to them.
Kenneth Mayes, Onward to Opportunity (O2O) program manager at Fort Bragg, says Labor Day is a time to pay tribute to the contributions of workers who have given so much to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. At Fort Bragg, Mayes says it’s an honor to work with some of the most skilled and professional warfighters in the military. “Often referred to as the ‘Center of the Universe,’ Fort Bragg has the distinct honor of responding to America’s 9-1-1 calls.”
The IVMF has the privilege to work with military spouses and placing them into meaningful careers, which is particularly special to Amy Taft, IVMF Curriculum and Learning Manager. “As a military spouse, it was not always easy to find work that was fulfilling. Now as the caregiver of a retired injured service member, I still struggle with the balancing the duties between my work and my responsibilities at home,” she said. “Through the Onward to Opportunity program, I am not only able to find fulfilling work, but I have the privilege of crafting a program that gives the opportunity to earn an industry standard certification in one of 30+ areas to others.” O2O’s certifications and course offerings are designed to meet the unique needs of military spouses, transitioning service members and veterans.
IVMF also has a dedicated advising and enrollment team who work with past, current, and future students to meet them where they are in their career. Amy Tiernan, IVMF enrollment coordinator, said she speaks with approximately 50 to 60 students a day just in the O2O program. “Through these conversations, I briefly get an inside look into their life stories and am able to hear their struggles and frustrations as they transition into civilian life,” she said. “Being able to help our students as they move one step closer to landing their dream job and contributing to the true meaning of Labor Day has made me thankful that I’m one of many employees at the IVMF.”
As we take a day off to honor America’s workers, take time to evaluate your current position and see if there is room for more, Taft recommends. There are endless opportunities when it comes to advancing your career as a military-connected worker.
We honor all of those hard-working Americans for all they’ve done for our nation. Mayes said he is honored to have a significant role in the professional development of our veterans, service members and their families. “Join the nation to pay tribute on Labor Day to the protector of the nation’s strength, and freedom— the American service member.”