New service for veterans tested in Peoria

By WEEK Producer

July 10, 2013 Updated Jul 10, 2013 at 9:41 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A career services company tested a new veteran affairs initiative in Peoria on Wednesday.

DESI Job Corps, based out of Illinois and Wisconsin, hosted a meet-and-greet for vets and service providers.

The event introduces military veterans to those who can help with employment, housing and medical concerns.

Attendees leave their information with Job-Corps so the company can connect the veterans to the proper services.

“Then they can either work with those agencies right here-and-then or we can send the information to the proper providers," said Business Relations Manager Rhonda Washer. "So we're going to make sure everybody gets hooked up and that we don't have people falling through the cracks."

U.S. Air Force veteran Kip Switzer has been seeking full-time employment since he was laid off more than three years ago.He hopes DESI Job Corps can help him find permanent employment and housing.

"I've got some good information now about maybe housing and stuff too, because I'm kind of in between places right now,” Switzer said. “So it's a start and it's a step and each day is a process of taking one step and always making sure it's going forward."

If Wednesday's event is a success, DESI Job Corps plans to continue the effort on a quarterly basis.