SC Veterans’ Representative Receives National Praise

An SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) veterans’ representative was honored on a national stage this month during the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) Annual Salute to Leadership Awards.

Eric McAbee, local veterans’ employment representative at the Spartanburg SC Works center, received the James F. Walls Employee Award for outstanding dedication to customers and colleagues and extraordinary service to the local community.

Eric's pic (271x300)

Eric McAbee

McAbee, who has worked at DEW since 2006, served in the Navy and now helps his fellow veterans in the Upstate connect with employment resources and opportunities. He received the award for his notable work with William “Wild Bill” Honeycutt, a veteran he assisted the last couple years.

Thanks to McAbee’s perseverance, Honeycutt found employment and overcame homelessness and alcohol dependency. The veterans’ representative did not stop there because he kept in touch with Honeycutt after his official role as a case manager ended.

When McAbee found out Honeycutt was terminally ill, the employment representative was determined to reunite Honeycutt with his estranged family. He was able to connect the veteran with his sister, two brothers and daughter before Honeycutt passed away.

“Mr. McAbee’s compassionate and selfless dedication to Mr. Honeycutt far exceeds the statutory requirements of service delivery…,” according to the awards nomination. “His commitment to serving veterans empowers those he serves, and positions partners to effectively provide assistance to those in need.”

Read more about how McAbee helped connect Spartanburg veterans with employment at a manufacturing plant in this article.

9 Reasons an Employer Won’t Ever Read Your Military Resume

Sultan Camp

Sultan Camp

Since launching this statewide effort in February 2013, we’ve discovered many valuable social media resources for military job seekers and the civilian employers who want to hire them. One of those is Sultan Camp of Suffolk, VA, who, according to his bio, is “a proud Navy veteran, travel hound and Orion International Military Recruiter looking for hard workers to place into rewarding careers within Fortune 500 and 1000 companies. Making your military transition successful is his goal.”

Camp regularly shares a wealth of great content on Twitter, LinkedIn and the Every Veteran Hired blog (among other places). If you’re a military member in transition, his recent three-part series, 9 Reasons an Employer Won’t Ever Read Your Military Resume, and What to Do About Itis well worth your time. A key piece of advice: “If you’re focused on you, you’re missing the point.”

Want to dig deeper? Be sure to read Part 2, and stay tuned for Part 3!




8 Ways To Be Financially Prepared For Civilian Life

Follow these eight tips to ensure your finances are ready for the transition to civilian life.
If you’ve served more than a few weeks in the Army, odds are you’ve heard the phrase “No more Task Force Smiths!” It refers to a combat operation meant to halt the North Korean advance in the opening days of the Korean War. The North Korean infantry quickly overtook the ill-prepared, outnumbered, and poorly equipped soldiers, resulting in more than 150 casualties. “No more Task Force Smiths” serves as a warning to never send unprepared service members into harm’s way.

No one wants to storm the beaches and find out they’re woefully unprepared, but it happens. Like going into combat, separating from the military is a big decision, as well as a stressful, uncertain time. Pressing thoughts about money, family, food, shelter, and the future weigh on one’s mind. So, why would anyone separate from the military if not properly equipped?

To prepare for your eventual separation, follows these eight tips to ensure your finances are ready for the big transition.

1. Set up a savings account.

Pay yourself first. Always. Aim for saving a minimum of two month’s salary prior to separation. Many companies often take from 30-to-60 days between interviews and starting date, so two months is the minimum. Many financial analysts will tell you to have six month’s salary in reserve, which may be tough to manage, but is a worthy goal. Be disciplined, start with what you can afford, and don’t stop.

2. Start investing.

A pension alone won’t keep you fat, dumb, and happy. If you contributed to the Thrift Savings Plan, consider your options: Roll it over to a new employer plan, let it ride, or invest with a private company?

Whatever you do, the bottom line is start young, don’t stop. Compound interest and time are your battle buddies. An 18-year-old investing $25 a week, indexed at 2.5% with a return of 8% provides $775,125 at the age of 65. Total investment: $105,251; interest: $669,773. Not a bad return. For the record, there are many theories for the average annual stock market return since the Great Depression. One theory is 10% growth, offset by an average inflation, resulting in an adjusted average growth of 8%. Not to mention, savings plans and 401k accounts often have matching funds, which equates to free money. Who doesn’t like that?

3. Avoid or get rid of unsecured debt.

Many methods exist for reducing your debt, but one proven method is to pay highest interest items first with whatever extra money you can muster. When paid off, add that amount to the next debt, and repeat until you are debt free. No gimmicks, no apps. Be wary of debt reduction agencies. Many are “for-profit” and their efforts benefit them. Some have you pay them vice your lender until the debt is charged off, and then they settle on your behalf, leaving your credit ruined. Don’t do it. Use credit wisely.

4. Invest in a life insurance policy.

While you go through your separation counseling, ensure you understand what your future holds. Servicemembers Group Life Insurance can be converted into Veteran’s Group Life Insurance for a nominal fee; however, if your future or potential employer offers life insurance, then this former option may not be for you. No matter how you acquire the policy, consider your family situation and choose carefully.

5. Consider a survivor benefit plan.

If you have young children or plan to, look into survivor benefit plans for your family. The cost is negligible and ensures that your family receives your pension should you pass on. Plan details and cost are easily found with an Internet search. Your individual situation should determine your course of action as the plan could cost you thousands over your retirement. Before diving in, just be sure the cost is worth the benefit.

6. Get a disability assessment.

I do not advocate seeking unearned benefits, but if earned, press on. In the military, “riding” sick call, frequently visiting the sickbay, or dispensary is frowned upon. However, when separating, those frequent visits could prove crucial in determining a service-connected claim of disability. Service connection is usually granted when a condition is well documented and chronic. If your visits were infrequent with no persistent problems, the issue could be deemed acute, not chronic. Therefore, if you suffer from a chronic malady, seek treatment often and ensure it is well documented. Upon separation, the Department of Veterans Affairs or a service member advocate can assist with substantiating your claims.

7. Prepare for tax season.

When you retire, the Department of Defense’s Finance and Accounting Service assumes that your pension is your sole income and taxes your pension appropriately. Thus, when you file at the end of your first year separated (assuming you’re working elsewhere), you have a W-2 form and your 1099-R from the government. That first year is an eye opener. Chances are you will owe money. Therefore, I highly recommend a tax calculator, available online, to ensure you don’t get caught short in April.

8. Don’t let an ex-spouse affect your pension.

The DoD’s Finance and Accounting Services applies state laws and divorce decree property settlements appropriately upon your retirement. Contrary to popular belief, there is no federal law mandating that you lose a portion of your pension, but if you have an ex-spouse, and part of your pension was awarded to him or her during divorce proceedings, you will more than likely be stuck in that arrangement for life. Remember, each state is different and the laws of each state apply. Judges can, and do, mandate different amounts based on guidelines and circumstances. My advice: Consult with an attorney so you know what the reality is. As well intentioned as your peers are, seek an expert opinion.

What you need to remember is that millions have transitioned before you, and survived. There is life after the military, and it is good. You’re more prepared than you know, just use good common sense and ask us greybeards.

Avoid These Top 5 Resume #Fails

As outdated as they may seem, your resume – in most cases – is what helps a recruiter or hiring manager decide to offer you a job interview, or not. Being a cynical bunch, many of those recruiters – instead of looking for a reason to hire you – are looking for an easy way to weed out those not worthy. A big factor in that process: mistakes on your resume.

Typos? Yes. But this goes beyond just grammar and the failure to have an objective, capable person proof your resume. This goes to what recruiters today look for in every resume: keywords, customization and the avoidance of cliches, for example.

This clever infographic from does a great job of pointing out today’s top five resume fails. Go through all five, and see where your resume could benefit from some “bang-pow-zoom.”




Come out to our Resume Workshop hosted by Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina (BCBS)! BCBS Hiring Managers, ALL former members of the military, will teach you resume writing tips and tricks + interview skills to land the job you want! This workshop is open to ALL military community members and military spouses. RSVP online by September 19 to receive a take-home workbook.


UPDATED: Statewide Job Fairs & Hiring Events (Sep-Oct)

jobs exitATTN Military Job Seekers! Several job fairs and hiring events are coming up in the next few weeks. Find one in your area, save the date, and contact your local Employment Advisor to critique your resume and make sure you’re fully prepared to make a good impression. Want to practice with some sample interview questions? Find them (and other resources) in our Job Seekers Toolkit!




Friday, September 5 (10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
Charleston | PAE Hiring Event
The Charleston Club at Joint Base Charleston
Valid military/CAC card required for access to the base. Hiring for various positions including supply, vehicle repair and maintenance, electronics technician, administration, supervision and management, and materials and procurement.

Saturday, September 6 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Charleston | Verizon “Invitation Only” Hiring Event
Verizon Call Center in Charleston is hiring! Apply online at #362342) by 5pm Friday, September 5 to receive an invitation for an onsite interview and campus tour.

Monday, September 8 (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
Charlotte, NC | Charlotte Career Fair
Crowne Plaza Charlotte, 5700 Westpark Drive, Charlotte, 28217

Friday, September 12 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)
Columbia, SC | Midlands Job Fair
Virginia College, 7201 Two Notch Road, Columbia

Tuesday-Wednesday, September 16-17 (12:00 – 5:00 p.m.)
Clemson University | Clemson JobLink Career Fair
Littlejohn Coliseum, 1 Avenue of Champions, Clemson, SC 29632
Open to students and the general public. Employers include those in engineering, technical, non-technical, business, and social services industries.

Friday-Saturday, September 19-20
Mt. Pleasant | Palmetto State Armory Hiring Event
Details to come.

Wednesday, September 24 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)
Columbia, SC | BCBS Resume Writing & Interview Skills Training
J1.1 Conference Room, Bluff Road Armory, 1225 Bluff Road
Presented by Hiring Managers for Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, all former members of the military. Learn resume writing tips and tricks + interview skills to land the job you want. RSVP online by September 19 to receive take-home workbook.

Wednesday, September 24 (10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Greenwood | Upper Savannah Job Fair at Greenwood Mall
420 SC Hwy 72, Greenwood, 29649

Tuesday, September 30 (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
Columbia | SMX/Amazon Hiring Event
Bluff Road Armory, 1225 Bluff Road
Through SMX, Amazon will be hiring for immediate warehouse positions. To qualify for an interview, job seekers MUST apply online before September 29 (Use job code 781S at Free drug test and background check; copy of high school diploma or GED required.


Thursday, October 2 (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Greenville | SC Works Job Fair
McAlister Square, 225 S. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville 29607
Vets/military only from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Opens to the general public at 9:00 a.m. (864) 467-8080.

Tuesday, October 21 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)
Columbia | SC Works Job Fair
Bluff Road Armory, 1225 Bluff Road

Stay up to date on the latest statewide job fairs and hiring events! Subscribe to OPE News on the home page of Operation Palmetto Employment, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@OPEJobs). For the latest local announcements, also follow the SC Works partner in your area: @SCDEWinfo, @SCWORKSinfo,  @SCWorksMidlands, @SCWorksPeeDee, @SCWorksUpstate, @SCWorks_LC, @UpperSCWorks, or @SCWorksWorklink.

This Friday! PAE Hiring Event at Joint Base Charleston

PAE logoWHEN:Friday, September 5 (10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
WHAT: PAE Hiring Event
WHERE:The Charleston Club at Joint Base Charleston

Valid military/CAC card required for access to the base. A leading provider of integrated global mission services, PAE is hiring for various positions including the following (with MOS equivalents):

  1. Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic (91B)
  2. Power Generation Equipment Repairer (91D)
  3. Automated Logistical Specialist (92A)
  4. Cargo Specialist (88H)
  5. Unit Supply Specialist (92Y)
  6. Transportation Management Coordinator (88N)
  7. Motor Transport Operator (88M)
  8. Computer Detection Systems Repairer (94F)
  9. Information Technology Specialist (25B)
  10. Fire Control Repairer (91G)
  11. Small Arms / Artillery Repairer (91F)
  12. Financial Management Technician (36B)
  13. Human Resources Specialist (42A)
  14. Human Resources Officer (42B)
  15. Radio and Communications Security (COMSEC) Repairer (94E)
  16. Ammunition Specialist (89B)
  17. Quartermaster Officer (92A)
  18. Track Vehicle Repairer (91H)
  19. Quality Control

Learn more at