MACV participated in a virtual resource fair hosted by the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) on July 16. DEED’s venture into a wraparound virtual resource event represents another innovation fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic illustrating Minnesota’s dedication to serving Veterans in need.
DEED and MACV have a longstanding relationship focused on addressing barriers to gainful employment in the low-income Veteran community. “We’ve always participated in [DEED] groups when it comes to career fairs,” notes Jon Lovald, Chief Operations Officer at MACV. Lovald explained that more recent conversations with the longtime partner revolved around MACV’s successful Stand Down events, which are revered in the Veteran community as opportunities to learn about available resources and personally connect with others who share a background of military service.
DEED took a page from the MACV playbook to plan the Veteran Resource Fair, drawing on a variety of resources like those typically seen at Stand Downs to connect attendees with the help they need. The online format presented challenges to creating the same sense of camaraderie present at in-person Stand Downs, but improved accessibility for many Veterans by creating a less stimulating experience with reduced need for physical interaction and mobility.
Almost 30 organizations participated in the event, with MACV presenting information about our Vetlaw legal assistance program, employment services, and homeless resources. Thanks to DEED for this opportunity, and congratulations on the successful launch of a new resource for Veterans!
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