A program is helping Canadian veterans get training for a potential new career after serving in the military.
The program, calling Coding for Veterans, stopped in Kitchener on Tuesday. It offers courses in software development and cyber security.
Sgt. Daniel Nadasdy is looking for a career change after a 14-year military career.
"I don't want my family to move around a lot and I decided it's time for me to get out," he said.
The new chapter comes after a fulfilling career that included two tours of Afghanistan and emergency relief for multiple forest fires and floods. Nasady was a sergeant with the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada.
"I'm interested in a job in the tech field because it's the most relevant today," he said.
Jeff Musson, executive director of Coding for Veterans, said the program helps veterans transition into a new career.
"The best part of the program is 100 per cent of the tuition is funded by veterans affairs for those vets that qualify, so it doesn't cost the veteran anything," Musson said.
"I think it's a great idea for the veterans," said Stan Howie, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 412. "I'm glad someone is doing something for the veterans because this year is altogether different."
The program started in 2019. A survey through Statistics Canada that same year showed 39 per cent of regular forces veterans who left the Canadian Armed Forces between 1998 and 2018 reported a difficult or very difficult transition into post-service life. That survey said that was up by nearly 10 per cent from 2016.
"Maybe some of those veterans can find something in the IT sector," Howie said. "There are a lot of veterans that have come back from Afghanistan and all that and they're young yet and could likely find some good positions."
Nadasdy said he doesn't have a tech background, but does have some transferable skills.
"Working in a high-pressure environment, working in a team environment, being a team member, not being afraid of challenges," he said.
"We have had the first cohort through and we virtually had 100 per cent employment," Musson said.
The program is virtual and has a new cohort starting in January. It takes anywhere from eight to 24 months to complete.