Our Mission: Back to Work, Back to Life.

Debbie Egan, Volunteer Customer Service

Debbie Egan, Customer Support

Debbie Egan is excited to join the R2W team this year.  She is bringing over 10 years of customer service and volunteer experience.  She has extensive experience working with customer service face-to-face and over the phone, online chat and e-mail.

Debbie’s job at R2W includes training volunteer Job Developers, Employment Specialists, and Job Concierges how to communicate more effectively with both applicants and employers, ensuring unprecedented positive outcomes.

Military and Veterans Employment Expo – Pikes Peak 2013



Just wanted to reach out to you after meeting you at the job fair.  It was quite an accomplishment getting that many employers there. Very impressive….three of them looked at my skill set and clearance (Booz Allen, Northrup Grummen, and Dept of State)… it was good to meet and greet those three and get a feel for them.   After all, it only takes one to hire me.

Thank you again for the opportunities presented there.

Joe , USAF, Intelligence Analyst


 I wanted to thank you again for your mentoring tips, express what a pleasure it was to finally meet you, listen to the passion in your voice about this years MVEE, …and also for you to take the time out of your busy schedule to talk to me one on one.


Thank you for all you did on the MVEE I found it more than usefull. I will try to use it to aid me in my job search.


… just by allowing me to come to a job expo and putting one on is helping.”



“I want to thank you for introducing me to R2W and wish to continue to offer support – like the MVEE job fair. That was extremely gratifying.”

The event was held May 15, 16 and 17 at PPCC (Pikes Peak Community College) 5675 S. Academy Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO
Register:  www.mvee.org

Statistics show that our veteran unemployment is higher than their civilian counterparts. That’s why key federal and state agencies, together with numerous nongovernmental entities, have banded together to organize a three-day expo to provide needed and essential assistance to veterans and military personnel seeking employment in Colorado.

As the U.S. economy struggles to regain its footing, job fairs can be found popping up all over the state. But the Military and Veterans Employment Expo is different. Exclusively offered to veterans and military personnel, the expo invites these uniquely talented workers to take advantage of free job skills workshops, training, and counseling.
Government agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment, and the Colorado National Guard and community partners such as the Return2Work nonprofit group are collaborating to organize this important event. As the late-2011 withdrawal date of U.S. forces from Iraq has passed, more heroically discharged military personnel are requiring workforce-reintegration support. The Military and Veterans Employment Expo will become a key part of many veterans’ redevelopment programs.

Upcoming three day Military and Veterans Employment EXPO is being planned for Colorado Springs, May 15, 16 and 17. For those of you who may not be familiar with this event, it is a new and improved approach to a job fair. The first two days the participants spend in training, working with mentors and preparing to communicate their job skills. Once they have done that and fulfilled a designated requirement, they are given the opportunity on the third day to interview with companies that have come with open job offerings. This is open to all military and spouses but those who have participated in the first two days are given preference.

The Equation for Your Success

Express Yourself: Resume Writing for the Private Sector:
It can be a challenge to translate the military lingo within your resume to a language the hiring authority can understand. This class will cover the four types of resumes: chronological, functional, combination and target. Teaching the participants to take military experience and translate it into civilian lingo. Showing the participants various ways to write an awesome resume starting with an effective objective statement and continuing on with powerful action words that best describe their talents and skills

Does the Color Of my Suit Really Matter? Interviewing Attire:
Being able to dress with confidence and feel comfortable is just as important as preparing an impressive resume. Make your very first appearance one the employer will not forget. This class will cover the when, what, where and how when it comes to dressing for success. Which attire is the choice attire for the position you are interviewing for.

Let’s Hear From The Experts; Employer Panels:
This session will give attendees the opportunity to hear from employers within various fields on topics such as what they are looking for in employees, what types of certifications are needed, growth within their field, and what they are looking for in a resume. Hear it from the experts who deal with resumes on a daily basis.

To Do or Not To Do During An Interview:
The presenter on this topic will give you pointers on how to prepare a few days before the interview as well as the very moment you actually step into the interview. He/She will present a few difficult questions that you may face at the interview and show you the importance of developing stories to tell that speaks about your experience in a story like format.

Today’s Tools to Market Yourself; Social Networking:
Using the social networks such as Linked In and Twitter can be just as effective in landing a job as the job websites themselves and we want to get you started. We will explain how these social networks can be beneficial to you, what to and what not to place on your social network page informative and getting you started on today’s modern way of networking.
This Mission Is Not Impossible; Federal Resume Writing:

Applying for a Federal job is not an easy task even for the most skilled job seeker. Our instructor will show you ways to explore the Federal job posting website and point out information within the job description that will help ease the application process. This information is in invaluable so don’t miss out.

What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up? Career Exploration:
If you want more than just a job but more of a career, this is the class for you. Many of us are looking for a career where we can showboat our talents with purpose and passion but have no idea what that career may be. Let this class help you identify your interest and match them with your skills and abilities. Let’s find your future career!
Work It! Working A Job Fair:

Just showing up and dropping off resumes doesn’t work at today’s job fairs. Believe it or not there is a technique to working a job fair so that you can make the experience effective for you and put you a head of your competition. In this class learn how to catch the eye of your future Employer and simply stand out!


R2W Delivers the Right Level of Support to Disabled Job Seekers

Carol Sarganis

Stefanie Fleisig O’Connor

Project: Return to Work Inc. (R2W) is probably best known for helping U.S. veterans to transition back into civilian society via meaningful employment.  Founded in 1998, the Colorado-based non-profit organization has a solid track record of training and placing service people—including wounded warriors with significant disabilities—to perform jobs that best suit their needs and capabilities.

R2W’s mission transcends the veteran segment, however, to include non-military Americans with varying degrees of disability.  Carol Sarganis, a Naples, FL-based Employment Specialist and job coach who was hired by R2W in 2006, is uniquely qualified to fulfill her role with empathy as well as expertise.

“I have the Limb Girdle form of Muscular Dystrophy, which affects the lower extremities,” Sarganis explains.  “I had trouble walking throughout childhood and I have used a wheelchair since high school.”  Despite her lifelong challenges Sarganis feels that she also has had many opportunities, including being able to serve as a remedial reading specialist at the elementary school level for 28 years.  “I’ve always had an innate desire to help people with disabilities,” she says, “and my teaching experience has helped me be effective for R2W’s clients.”

On R2W’s behalf Sarganis became a certified provider of the Federally-funded Division of Vocational Training (DVR).  In this role she helps disabled job seekers in the Naples area with everything from appropriate dress and hygiene advice to transportation to job interviews.  Her clients fall into three tiers: those with multiple disabilities who require significant job support, people who can perform their jobs with some support, and job seekers who can be independent after the initial training period.

Sarganis has learned to adapt her teaching style, including coaching prospective employees on resume preparation and interview skills, to both the capabilities and limitations of each client.  At times this means gently adjusting expectations.  “I have a client named John who wanted to be an animal trainer, but his disabilities precluded this,” she recalls.   In addition to having a borderline IQ, which makes many tasks too difficult, this client suffers from extremely low self- esteem—a trait that contributed to John’s history of quitting jobs after a short time.

Sarganis realized that John needed an unusually high level of affirmation from an employer, and worked to find the right fit for him.

A job bagging groceries at Publix, a large supermarket chain, was the answer for John.  “Publix has a track record of hiring people with special needs, and his supervisors did a great job training him,” Sarganis says.  “This employer is especially good about validating his work and feelings.”  After nearly three years in a full-time position at Publix, Sarganis considers John a success story.

R2W client Pete’s limitations are similar to John’s, but he couldn’t be more different in temperament and attitude.  “He’s outgoing and very self-confident, which is wonderful,” explains Sarganis, “but his extreme chattiness was hurting his employment chances.”  She worked with Pete to build a resume—something she does with every client—and also taught him to curb his loquaciousness, a decidedly more unusual task.  “We’re still working on it,” she says with a laugh.  Having served as a grocery bagger at Winn Dixie since 2010, Pete is now training to become a stock boy.  Sarganis has gotten to know Pete’s family and she notes that his parents, like the vast majority of clients’ parents, strive to help their child become as independent as possible.

Sarganis also has had success placing people who require far less support.  In the case of Michael, who suffered a stroke in his 40s that left him paralyzed on one side, the bulk of her job was providing logistics.  R2W got the ball rolling by helping to prepare a resume and line up interviews and transportation, and Michael ran with it, impressing his prospective employer so much that he was hired on the spot as a security guard in a gated community. “He was extremely proactive and had a great attitude,” Sarganis says.  Michael has served in this job for around three years.

Whether a job seeker needs heavy support during and after the employment process or, like Michael, is able to move forward without much contact after placement, R2W is equipped to deliver the appropriate level of help for people who want to be gainfully employed despite their limitations.


Jose Bolivar – Job Developer

Jose Bolivar – Job Developer

Jose Bolivar, Job Developer

Jose Bolivar, Job Developer

Jose was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. He has lived in the United States for over 10 years. Jose worked in the banking industry for about 8 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He worked for a non-profit in Colombia helping with social investment projects for a small town in the country side and recently volunteered as a board member for Intercambio Uniting Communities in Boulder, Colorado. Jose says, “I am willing to help, and R2W is a good cause. “

Kim Sharpe, Job Developer

Kim Sharpe, Job Developer

Kim Sharpe, Job Developer

Born in Evanston, Illinois & raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I spent 10 years in Arizona before becoming a permanent Colorado resident in 1990.  I have eight years of experience in the Broadcast industry, working as a News Director for a radio station in California & as Programmer Assistant for the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona.  Worked as a freelance copywriter for radio & television, as well.   I pretty much returned to accounting & office management for the remainder of my working career.   Being on the staff of Return 2 Work is an honor & I hope to be of great assistance to those in need of finding gainful employment.

Nick Lawton, STEM Intern

Nick Lawton, STEM Intern

University of Colorado, Computer Science


Military & Veteran Employment EXPO – Centennial, CO

As the U.S. economy struggles to regain its footing, job fairs can be found popping up all over the state.  But the Military and Veteran Employment Expo is different.  Exclusively offered to Active Duty, Veterans and their Spouses, the Expo invites these uniquely talented workers to take advantage of free job skills workshops, training, and counseling.

Project:  Return To Work Inc.  (R2W) provides online registration for this community collaboration sponsored by Department of Defense Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Colorado National Guard (CONG), Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), Department of Labor (DOL), and Veterans Affairs (VA).

REGISTER NOW (Seats are limited) www.mvee.org (Employers, Volunteers, & Participants)

Join “MVEE of Colorado” group on LinkedIn for Updates/Questions/Comments

Location: LeaderQuest Building 6825 South Galena , Centennial, Colorado 80112

January 16th, 17th, and 18th, 2013:

January 16th and 17th, 2013 8am – 4pm

Classes for active duty, reservist, veterans, and spouses

– There will also be 30-40 Mentors; volunteering their time for anyone to sit down and talk with them about resumes, interviewing, networking, etc.

Employers:  Register as a volunteer and be  Mentor (1/2 day or Full day)

Participants: Must register for each class and must attend 4 out of the 6 classes on one or both days in order to attend the first two hours of the hiring event on Jan. 18th.

January 18th, 2013 9am – 4pm (HIRING EXPO)

9am – 11am – Open ONLY for those who attended one of the first two days OR attended TAP in the last six months (bring certification).

11am – 4pm – Open to ALL Active Duty, Reservist, Veterans, and Spouses

Employers: We highly encourage direct hires, break out interviews and/or having the participants leave with a follow up/interview

This event is FREE for All, the ONLY thing we ask Employers is to ACTUALLY have JOBS and are HIRING – Take time with each participant and do what you say you are going to do….

Schools: Allowing 20 Schools to attend, we have a separate Area. Register NOW at www.mvee.org


MVEE FLYER Final 113012

Who Are You And Why Should I Care?

The biggest problem facing every business and individual today is choice—lot’s of good choice.  And most businesses and individuals do a poor job of differentiating themselves to become the first and obvious choice for their market.

 “Who Are You and Why Should I Care?” teaches attendees how to define their individual and business brands to get noticed in our over-communicated world. It teaches them how to be remembered by learning ways to truly differentiate themselves and their products and services. And attendees discover how to stay relevant by giving their market ongoing reasons to care about them and stay engaged.

 Follow this  link for a video about Steve Brazell’s innovative approach:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIHkcezQCiI



— Hitman

Steve Brazell is the architect of “Competition Removal”—the idea that it is easier for an individual or company to beat their competition through innovation and real differentiation rather than trying to compete with them head-to-head.

Affectionately known as “The Hitman,” he is an ideator—and helps companies and individuals grow market share and profits by developing and communicating new ideas that set their brands and products apart­—making them the first and obvious choice for their customers.


Steve founded Hitman Inc almost 15 years ago, and works with some of the world’s leading corporate and celebrity brands. He also works with start-ups providing marketing and branding expertise as well as early round investment. He is the recipient of multiple industry awards including; Addys and Bronze Quills, and was one of Esquire’s 45 Under 45 Professional Men. Steve recently designed the world’s first (patent pending) online Branding Engine—Brand Op.™

 Author and Keynote Speaker

Steve is the author of “Clear! The simple guide to keeping your business alive and kicking”, and is in high-demand to present and workshop at companies, conferences, universities, and private leadership groups around the world.  Steve presents on the art of Competition Removal, marketing, branding, and persuasive communication techniques. He has been rated in the top 1% of events he attends and listed as “most thought provoking,” and “most life-changing.”

 Media Guest

Steve is  a savvy media guest combining a quick wit, unabashed opinions, and deep branding insight that adds to any conversation.

 He is fluent in Japanese and an avid student of body language, human behavior, and Far East Philosophy. Hitman Inc is located in New York City and Vegas.


  Login to R2W’s recruitment system to learn about Steve Brazell’s breakthrough technique for landing the career you want and deserve.  Follow the links for Steve Brazell and Personal Branding.  Call us or use our online contact form if you need assistance.

Hiring Heroes

Congressman Jared Polis and Congressman Ed Perlmutter present:

Hiring Heroes 

A veterans’ employment event

August 14, 1012

9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Westminster City Park Recreation Center

10455 Sheridan Blvd. Westminster, CO 80020

To RSVP or for more information call 303-484-9596 or

Visit http://www.polis.house.gov/Calendar/

– Visit R2W’s Resource Table for free evalution and matching with hundreds of employers.

– One on one résumé critique and interview coaching

– Opportunities to network with employers who are hiring

– Workshops and community resources for veterans

Participating Organizations:

Adams County Workforce and

Business Center


Elevations Credit Union

Sierra Nevada

Enterprise Holdings

Front Range Community College

General Dynamics IT

Xcel Energy

And many more


8:00am-     8:45am Set     up

9:00 AM Doors open

9:05 AM Welcome

– City of Westminster Mayor Pro Tem Faith Winter

–     Congressman Jared Polis

–     Congressman Perlmutter

9:20 AM- 12:00PM Networking

(Located in the Main Room)

9:30 AM- 12:00 PM Interview Coaching and Résumé     Critique (Located in room B)

Workshops 9:30 AM- 12:00 PM

(Located     in Room A)

9:30-     10:00 AM

Meet the Employers Forum

10:10-     10:40 AM

Training for Employment Success Panel

10:50-     11:20 AM

How the VA Benefits You Panel

11:30 AM- 12:00 PM

Learning to be Effective Workshop







Suzanne Taylor

Suzanne Taylor, Employment Specialist, Job Developer

Suzanne is a United States Air Force Veteran who served 4 years active duty as a Security Forces Member/ Military Police.  After her enlistment, Suzanne completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida, and holds a Master of Arts Degree in Human Resources Management from Webster University.

After transitioning from military to civilian life herself, Suzanne understands the importance of ensuring both our veterans and returning service members receive the assistance they need in order to find a fulfilling civilian career.

In her free time, Suzanne enjoys ocean kayaking and fishing.

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)