Veterans Find work at Mount Sinai Through Nonprofit Initiative

Mount Sinai Health System is one of several local health care employers working with the city nonprofit Workforce Opportunity Services, which trains and places U.S. military veterans.

Three veterans working with the nonprofit were placed within the health system's IT department in roles in data security, desktop support and client services.

Workforce Opportunity Services, founded in 2005, has worked with 65 corporations to find jobs for veterans. The nonprofit employs the workers, who work for organizations such as Mount Sinai as contractors, so it can provide additional support services. WOS can help employees with housing, transportation and other expenses, and it provides them with health benefits.

"Part of the program fee [for employers] covers those out-of-the-box expenses that these individuals might need over the course of their employment," a spokeswoman for the nonprofit said.

When the participants' 12-month placements end, Mount Sinai will have to decide whether to hire them.

Other local organizations that have worked with the nonprofit include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Weill Cornell Medicine.

Roger Braman, senior director of information technology at Mount Sinai, has coordinated the program for the health system. Braman, a Navy veteran, said it can be a challenge for military personnel entering the civilian workforce to translate how their experience relates to corporate jobs.

Navy veteran Jonathan Duchnowski, for example, was a nuclear technician responsible for testing water quality and monitoring radiation in the service. While that role doesn't translate at Mount Sinai, Braman placed him in a project-management role.

"The training you get in the military is very good, but it's very specific to the branch you're in and role you have," Braman said. "A lot of employers don't understand how a certification in the military translates to jobs in the civilian world."