After nearly 27 years in the U.S. Air Force, Teresa Ehnert was looking for a new career that would allow her to use the skills and values she developed in the military. She found it in the Arizona Department of Health Services.
“I love working for the state of Arizona because they exemplify things I had in my previous career in the military – family, dignity, and a sense of community,” said Ehnert, bureau chief for public health emergency preparedness. “The state really respects the value of what I learned in the military.”
Under the AZ Hires Vets initiative championed by Governor Doug Ducey, ADHS and other agencies are encouraging veterans to continue public service by working in state government. We will be among more than 20 state agencies represented at an AZ Hires Vets hiring event Thursday, April 28, in Phoenix, the second such event organized this year by the state of Arizona.
Information on this effort, including videos of veterans working for the state, is available at hr.az.gov/veterans. This post includes videos with Ehnert as well as David Gilbert, another veteran making a difference for Arizonans by working at ADHS.
Ehnert, who joined ADHS in 2005, said working for the state is a natural fit for veterans. Agencies recognize the ability of veterans to collaborate and work with partners statewide, she said.
“Some of the things that are easily transferable are the sense of family and teamwork,” she said. “No organization, private sector or otherwise, can do a job as well as state government. The sense of contribution is something I see with other military members that work with the state.”
Ehnert said she’s spoken with people considering state employment after completing their military service. “I tell them the sense of camaraderie and family they have experienced in the military, and the dependence on their co-workers, cannot be matched in the private sector.”
The state of Arizona has more than 1,700 challenging career opportunities to choose from in over 120 agencies, boards and commissions, there is something for everyone. The state offers competitive benefits, including paid leave, comprehensive health care, retirement with a pension, and plenty of potential to grow your career as you want.
Gilbert served as a senior information technology manager in the Air Force, completing his 20-year career in the Pentagon before joining ADHS in 2007. He’s now chief operating officer, leading information technology services.
“In the military we have a sense of duty, a calling if you will. That transfers.” he said. “You never forget the lessons you are taught in the military. I believe the training I had in the military helped me in my current role. Effective communication, problem solving and those things transfer easily once you leave the military. I get a sense of pride from accomplishing the mission.”
No matter what job you select, you’ll be given the opportunity to show what you can do, Gilbert said.
“The state of Arizona is a great place for veterans to grow,” he said.