GRAND CHUTE, Wis. — The frozen field just north of Green Bay may not look like it now, but it’s wetland.
That’s what it will remain thanks to the work of Ben LaCount and his business partners with Evergreen Consultants, a business specializing in wetland delineation and environmental assessments.
LaCount is an Army veteran who traded his tools surveying artillery emplacements about 20 years ago for civilian surveying, and eventually, environmental work.
“I love my job. It’s helping people, so that’s the satisfaction I get,” he said about his career. “If somebody comes to you, it’s typically going to be a problem they need assistance determining, ’What can I do on this property?’ So we help them through that whole process.”
LaCount bolstered his entrepreneurial skill set early last year through a three-month long program at Fox Valley Technical College. It’s focused on helping veteran-owned businesses get started and expand.
“When you equip them with some of the tools in the program: education, training, access to resources and expanded networks, it’s like a rocket ship and their businesses take off,” said Amy Pietsch, who heads up the college’s Venture Center where the program is located.
The program also includes free mentoring — networking — and technical support.
Pietsch said many veterans have skills that carry over well to business.
“They are really prepared to lead employees,” she said. “What I’ve learned from working with the veterans is they are very giving, they’re selfless, and seems to inspire other people.”
Late last year the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs awarded almost $100,0000 to the program.
LaCount is thankful for that kind of support, not just for him, but other veterans as well.
“It’s a different life you live in the military. When you get out, there is that definite transition you have back into the civilian world,” he said.
The college has slots available for the Innovation Accelerator for Veterans program available for the group starting in March. Details can be found here.