Veterans Health Administration
Success Stories - Compensated Work Therapy
Over 52,000 Veterans are served annually by Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) programs across the nation. Rehabilitation counselors, vocational rehabilitation specialists and managers working in the CWT program 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 Stories: “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.” -
Jerry Weaver, a CWT Graduate and VA Employee, Charleston, South Carolina VAMC 2020
“Approximately 4 years ago I was laid off from my company that I had worked at since I left the military some 35 years ago. I had been going to a private health care facility covered through my work. After being laid off I was devastated. I had no direction and for some reason the world began closing in on me. It was at that point I met Robert L. Jones, Sr. (Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist). He listened and we together developed a roadmap to success and later, a roadmap to healing. I put in long hours working on the new me. Thanks to Mr. Jones his roadmap worked. Fast forward to today…I have totally revamped myself. I possess high level computer certifications and hold a very high security clearance doing what I love to do. The dreams and anxiety are a constant reminder of my past. The difference is now I know I am not alone in this journey. I want to thank Mr. Jones and Dr. Christian Defilippo, (psychologist) for helping me restart my life.” - Jeffrey Dusza, CWT Graduate, Hampton VAMC
The testimonials above have been edited for length and clarity.