Beyond the Column

Larry's LaRue-minations

One man, one grant, one giant step for vets

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on April 1, 2013 at 8:33 am with No Comments »
April 1, 2013 8:33 am
Mike Tassin (Photo by Peter Haley)
Mike Tassin (Photo by Peter Haley)

Michael Tassin drove a truck for the Army in Iraq, suffered a serious back injury and came home hoping to make some kind of difference for veterans like him.

He went to school, took a job with Goodwill in Tacoma and suggested to his supervisors that they needed some kind of program  to reach out to vets. Then he helped write the grant application that established some kind of program.

Operation: Good jobs was profiled in today’s column.

“The plan was to help veterans and their families get jobs and counseling when it was needed,” Tassin said. “We offer classes from creating a résumé and interviewing to actual job training. We offer financial classes and will work with vets one-on-one on budgeting.”

Since last May, the program has landed 160 jobs.

“Some of those we get are ‘right now’ jobs, for people who could lose their home if they’re not working,” Tassin said. “We try to keep those people working and in the program until they’re better equipped for another job.

“We have an apprenticeship program with Boeing. We’ve placed people in community colleges, with construction companies. There’s a moving company that specializes in moving military families, and they’ve hired four or five of our vets.

“We had one colonel who wanted to work at a golf course, and we got him placed.”

As for Tassin, he’s now a licensed counselor and works with vets and their families on everything from post-traumatic stress disorder to family issues.  Goodwill, with financial support from the Wal-Mart Foundation, have made it all possible.

Mike Tassin made it happen – another reminder that one person can make a difference.


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