IN THE NEWS: This LA Nonprofit Uses Virtual Humans to Prep Vets for Job Interviews

IMG_0115U.S.VETS created the Career Development Initiative (CDI) to help veterans find employment in the civilian world. Many veterans have difficulties figuring out how to translate the skills and experience they gained in the military to civilian careers, and a new program called VITA4VETS is using virtual job interviewers to help veteran job seekers learn how to bridge that gap.

PCMag recently came to U.S.VETS – Patriotic Hall, where CDI is headquartered, to learn more about how this high-tech solution is helping place qualified veterans into meaningful careers.

This story originally appeared in PCMag on July 6, 2016.

US Air Force Veteran David Ornelas served three years as a munitions technician, but when it came time to look for a new career, he found it much harder than he expected. So he turned to the United States Veterans Initiative (U.S.VETS) for guidance. He was assigned to fellow veteran and former US Army signals intelligence analyst Brian Witten, who called in the services of a virtual human to get 28-year-old Ornelas back into the workforce.

Yes, you read that right. The U.S.VETS have virtual humans on staff.

They’re part of a job interview training program known as VITA4Vets, implemented with support from Verizon. It’s based on a VR job interview practice system developed by the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), originally in partnership with the Dan Marino Foundation, which uses the tool to assist people living with autism in seeking employment.

ICT also receives funding as a key part of the US Army Research Laboratory. VITA comes under the umbrella of the initiatives they modify and develop in collaboration with the military…

Read the complete article here.