V.E.T.S. Graduate Spotlight: Kenneth Shaw

The V.E.T.S. Program series highlights some of our graduates that have made it through the program and have been deployed into the workplace..

Let’s meet Kenneth Shaw, who served in the National Guard between 1987-1991.

Like many Americans after the initial lockdown stemming from the covid-19 pandemic, Kenneth Shaw found himself out of work and struggling to regain meaningful employment. After sending “literally hundreds of resumes,” he said he only heard back from a landscaping company with an offer for an unskilled job.

Then, after nearly a year and a half of looking for work, Ken heard about Sharp Decisions and the V.E.T.S. Program for qualifying Veterans. He couldn’t believe how great the opportunity was, saying “Everything was just perfect, too good to be true, there’s no way this can be real. Long story short, it’s real and it’s awesome and I’m so glad I did it.”

But let’s back up a little bit… Who is Ken Shaw?

Originally from the small town of Sharon, Kansas, made up of “200 people, counting cats, dogs, and cows,” Ken says he was always very patriotic and joined the National Guard at 17 years of age. Ken attended basic training between his junior and senior years of high school, and then after his senior year he performed advanced individual training to learn how to operate Howitzer Cannons in his unit, 13 Bravo.

After Ken began attending college, he switched to a medical unit where he operated as a Radar tech wiring telephones and learning to splice communication wires. Once he had completed four years of service, Ken remained on ready reserve for two years before he was discharged from the National Guard. Some years later, Ken returned to college taking night and weekend classes over the course of three years while supporting his family.

Fast forward to 2021…

Ken is now working as a Quality Assurance (QA) Technician after qualifying and enrolling in the V.E.T.S. Program. Ken says he became a certified QA technician through training provided by Sharp Decisions and that “I will continue to do training on my own now, to go up that chain.” Thanks to Sharp Decisions, Ken was able to train with other qualifying veterans and be contracted in a platoon-style group to work in Quality Assurance.

That’s not all Ken does though; at the end of every year, just as the holiday season is getting into full swing, Ken works part-time as Santa Claus. It’s a rewarding job that Ken says he will be doing for the rest of his life.

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