FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- After 22 years of service, Johnnel Jones was thinking about life after the military. But for the retired Sergeant First Class, his 2008 departure from the Army didn't have a clear next step.
"I had no clue," Jones said. "I had no clue what I was going to do. I just knew my life in the military was done, and I'd had enough. It was time to do something else."
A Durham-based tech training company has helped him navigate towards that "something else."
In July, Jones completed IT training with New Horizons Career Development Center. He'd first heard of the center through his wife, who had attended a job fair at Fort Bragg.
Armed with A+ and Security Plus certifications, the training has provided a path to new opportunities and increased job security in Jones' current position as an HR specialist on Fort Bragg.
"It has enhanced my present situation," he said. "It took my job to another level."
According to New Horizons, the state unemployment rate for veterans is 8 percent, but falls to 2 percent in the IT field. A company representative said RTP-based companies are actually requesting certified veterans for job openings.
"They know veterans are reliable," said Jay Nachlis, Vice President of Marketing for New Horizons. "They know veterans are trustworthy."
Although Jones went into his 9-month training with an interest and some experience in information technology, Nachlis said the company trains people who are making complete career transitions.
The training occurs at the company's Miami Blvd. office in Durham, three nights a week from 6-10 p.m.
It's a commute that was worth the investment for Jones.
"Absolutely," he said "It's more ammunition in my pocket for when I'm ready to do what I need to do."
A New Horizons open house geared toward the military community will be held in Fayetteville on Wednesday evening.
The event will take place from 6-8 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott. The hotel is located at 4192 Sycamore Dairy Rd.
To RSVP for the event and get more information, head to newhorizons.edu/openhouse.
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RTP tech training company to host open house for veterans
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