Workshop helps military veterans prepare for jobs in entertainment industry

Military veterans have unique skills that make them valuable in the civilian workforce.

But sometimes matching up vets with job opportunities can be challenging.

Navy veteran Mark August is trying to change that, by helping fellow veterans get entry level jobs in the entertainment industry.

"One of the things we do in the military is if you're not qualified, you get qualified," explained August.

Several years ago, as entertainment industry professional, August realized there was a need for qualified production assistants in Hollywood.

The key word here: qualified.

So he started a program that helps train veterans, and help them just get that foot in the door.

He started a workshop to teach people about being a PA, or production assistant.

"Welcome to PA 101 for military vets," August tells the class.

August enlists real professionals from the industry to help teach newcomers the tricks of the Hollywood trade.

He said, "TV, film, commercial, union vs non- union, paperwork, everything they're gonna do -- they get taught in the next three days with the help of sponsors."

He said it's a lot of fun, but it's also a lot of work.

"It's just like the military; lots of long hours, sometimes just standing around and waiting. A veteran is really ... it's the right fit for them," August said.

This is the seventh year that he's been holding his class, at the American Legion, Hollywood Post 43.

It's free to veterans, and their dependents.

DJ Palmer is excited about what he's learned and is eager to start his career.

"It's like it's all about persistence, never giving up and also being good at what you do."

"Programs like this," Palmer said, "it gives us motivation and a sense of encouragement to pursue this."
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