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Veterans Michael Cooper, left, and Andrew Stercks use the computers inside InterCity Services…

Berkeley — Veterans who have returned from active duty can be unprepared for the job market, even in the best of times, say experts in the field.

But a nonprofit in Berkeley supports these veterans returning to civilian life in the East Bay. Andrew Stercks, 47, of Clayton, returned last April from a tour of duty in Iraq. He was formerly a police officer in another state, but in California he could not qualify for that occupation. Furthermore, pursuing treatment for his service-related injuries prevented him from launching a concerted job search. He recently learned of Berkeley-based Inter-City Services, which guided him to a career in security and is paying 100 percent of his training. Michael Cooper, 48, of Hayward, left the armed services in 2006, but just found the training he needed for civilian employment in March. He has been scraping by with short-term jobs in construction and truck driving. When his girlfriend recently went to the state Employment Development Department looking for a job, she brought back literature about Inter-City Services. “I met them and three days later I was in the system and in one week I was enrolled in a welding class,” Cooper said. “I have never seen anybody act so fast in my life.” Inter-City Services Executive Director Mansour Id-Deen founded the nonprofit 25 years ago to provide vocational training and job placement to people in the Bay Area, including veterans. “In December, we received our largest grant to train veterans — $650,000