This Veterans Day, we’re excited to share a spotlight profile and interview on CareerSource Palm Beach County’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Steven Gustafson. A former U.S. Marine and an ally for veterans in his community, he recently spoke at our 2023 Workforce Technology Conference about using Employ Florida to increase veteran engagement. When Gustafson enlisted in the armed forces, he was only 17. He was driven by the opportunity to lift financial burden from his parents. And while he may not have known it at the time, his first job as a land surveyor indirectly prepared him for his service. “It was incredibly challenging given that you often had to cut line in Florida Everglades swamps to clear a path to determine elevation at different points along the site,” said Gustafson. When Gustafson transitioned back to civilian employment, he struggled with the guilt of no longer fighting alongside the ones that he had grown so close to during his service. But he turned his struggles into successes by finding a job with his local workforce board as a Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER). And he now leads a team that has helped at least 20 homeless veterans find livable wages. His drive to achieve guided him to climb the ranks from Program Manager to Workforce Administrator, eventually moving with his family to Tallahassee. “I had a commander who told me to always look for opportunities to climb higher in the ranks, not for anything other than to expand the scope of my impact,” said Gustafson. For Veterans Day, Gustafson’s wants people to honor vets by serving the community. “The individuals I served alongside were some of the most selfless individuals I have had the honor of knowing,” said Gustafson. “I think that honoring that spirit of selflessness is a great way to honor our veterans, not only on November 11th, but year-round."