Putting veterans to work

Posted: February 5, 2015 - 2:07pm

Josh Jones is the sixth Y‑12 participant in the America’s Veterans to Tennessee Engineers program. Jones came off active Navy duty as a Petty Officer, Second Class, of the USS Arlington, and knows a variety of trades: welding, sheet metal work, pipefitting and firefighting.

“So much credit goes to Josh for reaching out to us,” Renee McGhee of Career ONE said.

“He was persistent and determined to make sure he was on a career path when he left the Navy.”

“This is my dream job,” Jones said. “I grew up in Clinton and always knew about Y‑12. I’m proud to be an employee here. I found out about the Y‑12 program about a year and a half ago. It’s something I wanted to achieve for my family and me, so I started pursuing it.”

Previous participants in this program include Brian Paul and Matthew Nash (nuclear engineers); Brent Gallagher (electrical engineer); Tom Tress (mechanical engineer) and John Brasher (civil engineer). Tress is serving as Jones’ mentor.

“Transitioning from the military to civilian life is already a challenge,” Tress said. “However, going after an engineering degree while you are making this transition, going to school and also providing for your family is very difficult. Josh is fortunate to have five previous veterans that have all made this jump who are all wanting him to succeed.”

Tress added, “It is personally rewarding to know that I am helping a fellow veteran. Many veterans can fall through the cracks, so it is good to know that programs such as America’s Veterans to Tennessee Engineers exist to ensure that we do not lose out on capturing the work ethic and skills of veterans when they transition into civilian life.”

McGhee concurred, “Support of the program demonstrates tremendous patriotism and appreciation for our veterans’ service and desire to provide career opportunities for them.”

Jones recently began his education at Pellissippi State, then he will complete his mechanical engineering degree at UT.