SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Compensated Work Therapy Program‘s (CWT) mission is to get veterans back into the workforce.

“Veterans are unspoken heroes that have put in a lot of time and effort for our country; for us to be able to be able to be even be here. Free and doing the things that we do,” said CWT Chief Triva Sanders.

For National CWT Week, the group hosted its first-ever Veterans-only job fair at the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport.

One vocational specialist said that sometimes veterans are not given the attention they deserve.

“They know how important that it was to the community,” said Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist Elizabeth Williams. “And so one of the things was to come back and give back as much as the veterans have given to us over the years.”

The VA said employment is a critical factor in protecting veterans against suicide, homelessness, and substance abuse.

“We want them to feel empowered and to be okay with matriculating through the process to get back to work,” said CWT Vocational Rehabilitation Section Chief Triva Sanders. “We like to give them a hand up and not just throw a hand out to our veterans.”

Many veterans were hired on the spot.

CWT Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Kenneth Stephens said he enjoys working with veterans

“Helping veterans is maybe the most important thing. But I’ve been here a long time and I’ve had other jobs before this one. And this one is the most fun. They’re the most interesting people I’ve ever worked with. They’re lovable. They, they really appreciate the help that we give them and then they want to give back.”

Veterans who want to enroll in CWT can ask their VA health provider for a referral.