Evans has big plans for himself, and the state

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Former Greenfield-Central student Brian Evans is now working for the state to help Veterans find jobs. He is interested in running for office and hopes to have a future in politics.

Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

HANCOCK COUNTY — Nearly 11 years after graduating from Greenfield-Central High School in 2012, Brian Evans is making good on his promise to give back and help his community. Plus, he’s not only trying to make a difference in Hancock County.

“I’ve been doing a lot of community development work throughout the state, meeting local business owners and other leaders,” Evans said.

Evans, 29, Greenfield, works for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, connecting veterans to the right jobs. He is the manager of external affairs for INVETS, a statewide organization that works to help veterans find good-paying jobs in the state. The organization is currently working with thousands of veterans from across the United States. Advisors offer help with resumes, interview advice and building connection networks.

“My job is to tell people about INVETS programs, but I also connect counties with other resources in the state,” Evans said.

Evans also has a great passion for political science and plans to throw his hat into the political ring when the right opportunity presents itself, perhaps as soon as 2024, he said. Like his family members before him, Evans said it’s important to get involved in leading and working for the community where a person lives.

Evans’ grandfather, Gary Evans, was once on the Greenfield City Council. His uncle, Brad Evans, has worked as an assistant street commissioner while Scott Evans, Brian’s cousin, has also worked for the street department.

On the most recent Veterans Day, Evans was back at G-CHS where he was the keynote speaker, talking to hundreds of local teenagers about the importance of community and making a difference where you live.

“It was so nice to get a chance to talk to so many young people,” Evans said. “I didn’t do the traditional Veterans Day message because I know the teenagers have spent two years of their high school dealing with COVID and being separated, so I wanted to give them a message about about how each one of them can make a difference in the world.”

He told the teenagers to take a look at the many veterans in their lives and, while they all served at different times in different uniforms, they all made a difference through their service.

“I told the kids they don’t have to serve in a uniform to make a difference in their schools, the community and in the state,” Evans said. “I told them it’s all about serving others and doing things like simply being kind to others … I told them the Marine Corps helped me learn how to respect everyone and to help others.”

Evans left the students with a few tips on approaching life, such as don’t allow fear to stop them and to dare mighty things; it’s not the things that happen that matter but how they respond to them that matter; failing is OK, quitting is not; break big challenges up into small tasks, take things one step at a time and for students to remember they do not have to do things alone.

Evans practices what he preaches when it comes to helping communities find workers.

While Evans is mainly responsible for helping veterans in as many Indiana counties as he can, he recently came across Benton County and noted how the area was “dying” due to lack of opportunities for everyone there.

Instead of watching that part of the state suffer from a distance, Evans is doing all he can to help veterans and other people there find good jobs.

“It’s a very rural community, about 90% agriculture with less than 8,000 people and unfortunately they’ve been looked over by the state and their elected officials and they are dying,” Evans said. “My goal this year is to help them by providing resources that will hopefully turn their community around.”

Evans and his wife, Sarah Evans, who he met while on military duty in Germany, made Greenfield their home a few years ago and are raising their two young sons in the community. They moved back to the area when Evans finished his stint in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Early in his military career, Evans earned a special duty assignment in Washington, D.C., where he worked for the commandant of the Marine Corps. The position eventually helped him land a job inside the White House, where he was the director of correspondence analysis for the Executive Office of the President for two years.

While Evans enjoyed working in the nation’s capital, he and his wife realized they wanted raise a family in a small community and moved back Evan’s hometown, Greenfield.

In his new job, Evans says he enjoys helping veterans and communities reach their potential, something he knows isn’t always easy to do. After working in the White House and taking part in numerous special details — including duty at the United Nations and attending some 300 funerals at Arlington National Cemetery — Evans had a hard time figuring out what to do once his military career was over.

Few people at home in Greenfield knew all he had accomplished as a Marine. After taking a job for a few months with a company, he started working for INVETS in 2019 where it’s been a good marriage. That search for the right fit, Evans says, helps him work extra hard to try and help others land in a place they too can flourish.

“What I’m doing with places like Benton County, it’s actually not a part of my job, but I see the benefits of what I’m doing through INVETS, and I know the resources really can help people,” he said. “All of this is helping us build a better brand in the state because if the state has dying communities we’re never going to be able to attract people to come and fill all these open jobs.”

Evans noted there are actually 156,000 open jobs unfilled in Indiana and he’s working hard to make sure the positions in Hancock County and elsewhere in the state find the right employees.

In addition to that, Evans is also a member of the Indiana National Guard, something he plans to be a part of for as long as he is able.