In early 2019, while still deployed to Afghanistan, Minnesota National Guard Member Eliza reached out to Paralyzed Veterans of America’s employment program, PAVE, for help securing post-deployment employment.

Eliza understood the importance of finding the right employment opportunity that allowed her to continue her studies, accomplish her short-term goal of owning her own carpentry business, and achieve her long-term goal of being an independent counselor supporting children and adolescents.

PAVE Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Jim Arndt, MS, CRC, first worked one-on-one with Eliza on her resume. They discussed several employment options that may be a good fit, including pursuing opportunities with a federal agency or apprenticeship with a local carpenter’s association. Jim and Eliza also practiced interviewing skills, building her confidence for this part of the employment process.

Ultimately, Eliza was offered two positions and accepted an apprenticeship with the North Central Carpenters Association, which she thought would better position her to achieve her goal of starting her own carpentry business while also balancing her school work.