In July 2019, Navy veteran Simda Padagnassou worked with PAVE Employment Analyst, Rodney Lee, a retired U.S. Army veteran, and landed a position as a bank examiner with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Thrilled with his new career path and happy with the strong relationship he had formed with Rodney, Simda encouraged his wife, Florence Nonon, to work with PAVE as well.
The PAVE program is proud to support not only veterans, but also their family members and caregivers. Military spouses, in particular, face high unemployment, as it can be difficult to find meaningful opportunities due to frequent relocations.
Florence’s work experience included a variety of short-term positions, but now with her family settled in one area, she was ready to join a company that would provide her with a career. Florence had a background mostly in retail and customer service, so she was interested in positions where she could use these past skills.
Rodney and Florence worked together to tailor her resume so it showcased her relevant knowledge, skills and abilities. They also spent time discussing the importance of networking and having a good elevator pitch. These tools turned out to be the key to her next career.
Last month, Florence walked into a UPS store to mail a package. Using what she learned with PAVE, she started a conversation with the manager assisting her. She gave him her elevator pitch and asked about job opportunities with UPS. The manager was impressed with her pitch, asked for her resume and invited her to interview for a position. Florence was offered the position of Sales Associate for a UPS franchise store.
She told us just how important PAVE’s guidance was for her: “The PAVE program taught me that networking is not meant for only a professional setting but it should be used in our daily lives,” Florence said. “Using my elevator pitch in an UPS Store when I was shipping a package got me a job there.”