With three military bases nearby, TWEAC was started under the umbrella of the local economic development office in 2012. In fact, there were more than 1,000 service members exiting from the bases every year, so TWEAC was formed to support the needs of an expanding workforce.
When the original office closed at the end of 2014, TWEAC was established as a standalone entity. It now has two full-time, non-salaried employees. The organization was originally funded through South Carolina Department of Commerce grants, but those have expired. The City of Beaufort now provides office space. Since we believe in the program, and the positive effect TWEAC has, we are working for free while we look for potential new grants.
The sacrifice is worthwhile because there is no other organization in the community that is doing what we do. We interact with other veteran-service organizations to find the resources to help them be successful in their military-to-civilian transition.
TWEAC works with exiting military, veterans and their families by helping them prepare for and obtain successful civilian employment. All help is provided free of charge. We help them work on their résumés and use our community network to help them search for jobs. We also help these prospective new employees prepare and practice for interviews.
What Would You Do with $5,000 and a Day of Service?
We are looking to formally establish “Hire A Vet” month in South Carolina. Several other states have similar recognitions.
We are also exploring potential for billboards, including a “moving billboard” that would be posted in different areas on a rotating basis, to encourage more hiring of veterans in the Lowcountry region.