Updated 12/14/2011 05:06 PM
Pfeiffer opens career center to help returning veterans find work
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CHARLOTTE -- As more troops come home from deployment, many will be looking for jobs and educational opportunities. Pfeiffer University hopes its new AMVETS Career Center can set up those veterans for success.
"They're anxious, they're well trained, they're disciplined, they're reliable, they have all the soft skills we speak of that employers are looking for and most of them tend to be very successful at the end of their careers," career center commander Charles Cosgrove said.
Cosgrove retired as a command sergeant major of special operation forces after 31 years of service. When he came back, he says, he didn't know what he was going to do.
"I had these skills I learned in the military, I knew they were transferrable. I was thinking about my future but I didn't know where to start, and for us, there was no one to talk to," he said.
Veterans, young and old, face a unique set of challenges and Cosgrove is driven to help them when they return to the United States because of his own personal loss.
"I've stood over too many flag-draped coffins. I owe. I'm the lesser man. I came home, my two best friends did not. I owe them. That's a debt I can never pay," he said.
North Carolina is home to about half a million people with a connection to the armed services, and Pfeiffer University is one of six sites in the country with an AMVETS Career Center paid for by a grant from the Call of Duty endowment.
"We have a lot of military veterans that are going to be coming home from Iraq and also hopefully soon from Afghanistan and they need to find jobs," Michael C. Miller, of Pfeiffer University, said.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited Fort Bragg on Wednesday and promised servicemen and women the nation wouldn't let them slip through the cracks.
"That includes a national effort to put our veterans to work. We've worked with Congress to pass an incentive to hire vets," Obama said.