Vets services

HELPING VETERANS — The founders and staff of Honorable Services Career Center are congratulated on their grand opening Saturday by Donna Hill, representing state Sen. Scott Wilk. The center provides career development services, life coaching and group support for veterans of all services. From left are Hill, Lindsey Garner, Octavia Brown and Sylvia Garner.

PALMDALE — An­tel­ope Valley veterans have a new resource available to help them with the transition to civilian life.

Honorable Services Car­eer Center conducted its opening ceremony Sat­ur­day, a non­profit or­gan­iz­ation that will offer career de­vel­opment ser­vices, group support and life coaching for veterans of all services and eras.

“You served honorably and we’re here to serve you now,” Life Coach Sylvia Garner said.

The center is open for regular business be­gin­ning today.

The center is at 1334 East Palmdale Blvd., where visitors will find Wed­nes­day night group sup­port meetings, led by Garner’s husband Lind­sey, himself a Marine Corps veteran.

“There’s nothing that’s off limits” during these sessions, Sylvia Garner said. “We want to help them be well-rounded.”

Administrator Octavia Brown will provide career development services, helping veterans identify their skills and interests then guiding them toward careers to best use both. Services include mock interviews, resume creation, and using social media and other outlets for “creating their brand” to appeal to potential employers, Brown said.

While the center does not have job placement services, they will help prepare veterans for the job market and to find where they may fit best.

“You’re helping them to understand who they are,” said Brown, who previously provided pro­fes­sional development services at Pepperdine Uni­ver­sity.

For many veterans, the skills they learned while in the service do not translate directly to the civilian job market. The goal is to identify the specific skills learned and match them to civilian job fields.

Those seeking to take part in their services are asked to call 661-527-5050 to schedule an ap­point­ment.

The monthly life coach­ing workshops are open to the public, not exclusively for veterans. The first work­shop, from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 2, will focus on over­coming challenges.

Private life coach ses­sions also are available.

The center is a family affair for the Garners, who have been active in the com­mu­nity through Living Stone Cathedral of Worship in Sun Village, Pure Em­pow­erment seminars and other organizations.

“We decided we really want­ed to service the vet­er­ans community,” Sylvia Garner said.

That service began with helping the area’s homeless population, which includes a number of homeless vet­erans, she said.

They began developing what became Honorable Ser­vices Career Center about a year ago to address that need.

Among the continuing outreach to the homeless that will be sponsored through the center is the shoe box initiative. Started by Sylvia’s mother Mella Miles, they pack shoe boxes with hygiene items, such as toothbrushes and tooth­paste, soap, toilet paper deodorant and the like, then deliver the boxes to the homeless.

Through the center, the program will take place monthly, she said.

Although the focus of the center is on veterans, the idea is to help better the community by aiding this subset.

“They are a part of the community,” Sylvia Garner said. “The Antelope Valley is a great place to live and we want to enhance it any way we can.”

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