Veteran to veteran: Washington man looks to put soldiers to work

Published 7:57 pm Monday, June 9, 2014


TONY BLACK | DAILY NEWS WORKING: Leon Keys Jr. (left) and Jerry Cobb (right) discuss jobs available for Keys to apply for.

WORKING: Leon Keys Jr. (left) and Jerry Cobb (right) discuss jobs available for Keys to apply for.












With the United States armed forces leaving the Middle East conflicts, soldiers are returning home looking for employment.

Jerry Cobb is trying to help veterans coming home from war and retiring veterans get back into the workforce.

Cobb will be helping Beaufort County service men and women return to work at the eastern North Carolina veteran seminar and job fair Thursday from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Martin County TeleCenter.

The job seminar for veterans will provide attendees with resume writing classes, interview techniques, networking skills and Internet job search information.

“Some people think a resume is a historical document, but the resume should be tailored to the kind of job skills you have,” Cobb said. “We have the latest technology to teach interview skills to show potential employees what the jobs are doing on social media.”

Cobb, who works for the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, reaches out to soldiers looking for work and points them into the right direction.

“He lets us know what is available,” said Leon Keys Jr., a seven-year veteran of the Army. “Employers tell him what they need and the employment office tries to match prospects with them.”

Keys just finished his associate’s degree at Pitt Community College and wants to become an electrician.

“I want to wire houses for two years and hopefully get my own license, but I need some experience,” Keys said. “I need 4,000 hours working with someone before I can take the test.”

Cobb understands how tough it is to find a job after getting out of the service. He was in the U.S. Army from 1976-1996 and is a veteran of the Gulf War.

“Sometimes a veteran might get back from war and with the economy where it is now, the average person won’t understand what they did,” Cobb said. “We translate that military experience into civilian experience to better qualify them for a job.”

After Cobb left the military in 1996, he went back to school and received his degree in criminal justice. He became a Belhaven Police Officer for seven years.

While he was going to school he also took part in a Veterans Affairs work-study program and worked with veterans in the unemployment office.

“When I first came back from the military it was tough,” Cobb said. “Most places I applied said I was over qualified so I went back to school. Once I got my degree it wasn’t as tough. I got a bachelor’s and associate’s in criminal justice and went to the police academy.”

Cobb said he’s unsure of the number of veterans  he has helped find jobs.

About Tony Black

252-946-2144 ext. 231

email author More by Tony