Your Chicago: Enabled Veteran Program

(CBS) — Job training and job placement for our veterans returning home from the battle field is one of the highest priorities facing the government and the private sector.

At Rush University Medical Center they are doing just that, training veterans in the highly competitive, highly sought-after information technology field.

CBS 2’s Rob Johnson reports.

It’s called the Enabled Veteran Program, a 13-week paid internship for veterans to learn the finer points of the technology world, or IT.

“We’ve really built a strong team of comrades, both veteran and non-veteran, that become part of this machine that cranks out someone who is very employable in Chicagoland,” says former Air Force Lt. Col. Jaime Parent, who runs the Rush program.

James Wigfall, who served in the Navy at Great Lakes, is one of the program’s success stories. He actually got hired by Rush after completing the program and now works filling computer and equipment orders for various departments at the hospital.

“To me, it meant that somebody cared,” he says of his experience.

Wigfall’s story serves as inspiration for former Navy reservist Robert Davis, who is hoping to catch the eye of some IT firm in the Chicago area when he is finished.

“I really appreciate this program being here for me because without the program I think I’d still be looking for work somewhere,” Davis says.

Rush can offer the program free of charge thanks to donation of on-line training and support from companies like Cisco, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi and Net-App.

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