DWD logo

Tony Evers, Governor
Caleb Frostman, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Helping Those Who Have Served

By: DWD Secretary-Designee Caleb Frostman

I am constantly blown away by the dedication, determination and devotion of the staff of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Day after day, they quietly assist and encourage Wisconsinites facing barriers to employment. I often find myself in awe of the tenacity with which our employees help Wisconsinites of all abilities in all corners of our state find work.

Take Cynthia Holzman, for example. She's one of our Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists who works out of DWD's Fond du Lac Job Center. A veteran herself, she served in the U.S. Navy from 1991 to 1999 and was deployed multiple times from Guam to Japan aboard the USS Frank Cable (AS-40). She then served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in the field of Military Police. Even after more than a decade of service to our country, her continued enthusiasm for serving her community is extraordinary.

It's her inspiring commitment, and the devotion and talents of our DWD staff, that enrich the services DWD provides Wisconsin. Over the last year, DWD has worked in partnership with Wisconsin's Department of Veteran Affairs (WDVA) and Department of Corrections (DOC) to help incarcerated veterans find employment by providing job training, counseling, and benefit services prior to their release. The inter-agency partnership between DWD, WDVA, and DOC connects the dots between reducing recidivism and addressing Wisconsin's workforce shortage.

Through this collaborative partnership, staff like Holzman assist incarcerated veterans, who are struggling with internal issues, to find and keep jobs. In the last year, she has helped 43 incarcerated veterans build resumes, write letters of explanation, and find supportive services for housing, utilities, food, mental health, and addiction treatment. She has always been a supporter of the underdog and enjoys the challenge and fulfillment of helping people who face barriers to employment.

Back in September, Holzman assisted a female veteran at Taycheedah Correctional Institution who was struggling with alcohol and drug issues. In addition to dealing with addiction, the veteran's housing situation was uncertain. Working closely with Holzman, the veteran was able to identify work strengths, draft a letter of explanation, secure housing, and find alcohol and drug treatment options. Nine days after her release, the veteran was hired at McDonald's and started training for a management position.

Since her release, Holzman's veteran is six months sober, a full-time manager at McDonald's, and actively involved in her area's recovery community. Of course, this veteran's own hard work and dedication helped her back on her feet, but I can't help but be proud of and grateful for the work of DWD's Cynthia Holzman that made a difference in this veteran's life.