BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- A job-training program that's been in town for the past six weeks has opened doors for disabled military veterans in our area.
"Throughout the last couple years they've had no jobs, no jobs offered, no doors opened," said Mark Van Meter, the chief operating officer for Preeminent Training Specialist and a disabled veteran himself.
It's a struggle that's common for many disabled veterans.
"When they do get out of the service, they don't have the necessary skills or knowledge, because military versus the outside public is a different world," said Lorenza Abrams, a disabled veteran who is currently in the program.
However, for the past six weeks, eight area veterans have acquired skills and certification for high-demand jobs.
"It doesn't necessarily certify them in any one discipline, it gives them a good base point, a jumping off point. So they can walk into any manufacturer and get any job, and they've got a good working knowledge," Van Meter said.
"We've had a test every week that's been pretty hard on us. They didn't give us certificates. We earned them," said another disabled veteran in the program, Chris Pasley.
The job-training program is the result of a partnership between Sullivan University, PTS, the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council.
"So I'm hoping to be able to get one job, one career, where I can provide for my family and not have to worry about working two jobs and a lot of overtime," Pasley said.
With over a 90% success rate, Van Meter says the program guarantees job offers.
"You have the ability to say, 'You know what, I really like what you have to offer, but I'm going with this one over here.' I mean, anybody would love that offer, that chance. That's what we're giving back to our veterans, and that's why we do what we do," he said.
"I'm young enough to have another career. Anybody can have a job, but our main goal is to have a career," Abrams said.
Van Meter says they'll go all over Kentucky -- wherever veterans need job training and second chances.
If you're interested in the program, you can contact the local Department of Veteran Affairs' regional office in Louisville to see if you're eligible for vocational rehab.