Success Stories - Compensated Work Therapy - Veterans Health Administration
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Success Stories - Compensated Work Therapy

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“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

—Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

Over seventy one thousand Veterans are served annually in Compensated Work Therapy (CWT). CWT vocational counselors, specialists and managers will affirm: there’s no greater sense of professional fulfillment than guiding those who took the oath of enlistment to bear true faith and allegiance to our nation, in returning to the workforce, carving out their desired next career path.

Employer Success Story:
"I became the new HR Generalist with Specialty Resources in late June 2018. Specialty Resources, Inc is a global sourcing and inventory management company for precision components & specialty products. We are a small organization, so I’m the only person in the HR department. As you can imagine, I was faced with several difficult decisions about our hiring needs. On my first day at the job, I had a great conversation with Coatesville CWT vocational staff, Chris Hartson and Marcus Blanks, about the benefits of employing hard-working Veterans. I agreed that it was the right thing to do for our community and organization. Now that I’m three months into my new role, I whole-heartedly believe that I made the right decision! We hire Veterans to perform all general warehouse duties. The Veterans tell us every day how grateful they are to be working here and we enjoy providing them with full-time employment. I continue to talk to Chris and Marcus on a regular basis, and they always bend over backwards to help SRI and the Veterans."
Lauren DiCandilo, HR Generalist, Specialty Resources, Inc., Chester Springs, PA

Employee Story: “CWT taught me how to retrain my mind to doing the right thing, how to be a team player, and how to be accountable,” said Jerry Weaver, a CWT graduate and VA employee. “[The CWT staff] didn’t give up on me and kept welcoming me back with open arms.” Weaver credits CWT with helping Veterans finding their way back from mental health, substance abuse, and other employment challenges. His journey with CWT began in Spring 2017 after completion of the Substance Treatment and Recovery (STAR) program at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. Two years later, he was a full-time VA employee. He says his current success contributes to the self-esteem, self-confidence, and determination gained through showing up for work each day. He is the perfect example of how important CWT can be for a Veteran’s wellness and recovery. “They believed that I could be a valuable commodity; and hopefully, I have proved myself to my teammates,” said Weaver. “CWT has really helped me discover new things about myself, and helps Veterans find their way back from mental health and substance use issues.” Weaver celebrated his one-year work anniversary in May 2020.
Jerry Weaver, a CWT Graduate and VA Employee, Charleston, South Carolina VAMC 2020

Dan Duverney, An American Lake Success
Hines VA Medical Center, September 2012

Jerry Weaver, A Charleston Success
Charleston VA Medical Center, November 2017

Michael Viramontes, A Martinez Success
Martinez VA Medical Center, 2013

Estella Preer, A Memphis Success
Memphis VA Medical Center

Zoey Valentine, A Memphis Success
Memphis VA Medical Center

Jacob Yonkie, A North Little Rock Success
North Little Rock VA Medical Center, March 2020

Nicholas Gustafon, A White City Success
White City VA Medical Center, November 2018

Homeless Veteran’s Personal Scorecard was the Key
(United States Marines Veteran Washington DC VA Medical, Washington DC CWT Program & the Washington DC VA Medical Center) 12/6/2016

At 60, Chicago Veteran Proves it’s Never Too Late to Start Again
(Army Veteran Johnnie Mims, Jesse Brown CWT Program, CEC & USPS) 5/11/2016

Compensated Work Therapy Program: A Pathway to Success
(Tucson CWT Veterans, CWT Manager, CWT Peer Support, CEC, & VAMC Staff) 4/29/2016

Navy Veteran finds hope, recovery, housing and employment through VA
(United States Navy Veteran Jeff McLaughlin, Bay Pines CWT Program & VA Medical Center) Fall 2015

CWT Success: The Program That Helped Change My Life
(United States Air Force Veteran Keith Parkis, Albany CWT Program & Saratoga National Cemetery) 9/26/2011