Memorial Day is observed May 27 and Armed forces Day May 18. Good days to remember our veterans but “hiring a hero” is also a way to give thanks and pay tribute to our veterans.
The number of post-9/11 vets who are unemployed is 203,000 as of February of this year. This time last year, that number was 154,000. The math is mean. Post-9/11 veterans lug a steep unemployment rate that’s a point-plus taller than the civilian rate.There is a growing concern that the federal budgets cuts as part of the 2013 sequestration may spike those unemployment numbers even higher.
According to the founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the sequester is adversely affecting returning vets. More than one-third of the 200,000 members of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are employed in government jobs – TSA, Homeland Security, and the Pentagon. Also threatened are contract jobs for vets.
How to crack that cold equation? Just a little face time, says unemployed veteran Ruty Rutenberg, who believes that simply standing eye-to-eye with a hiring manager allows former service members to naturally radiate the ocean of intangibles that can only be absorbed in combat.
“That presence, that aura about military people is very tough to see online in a resume, where (HR executives) are only looking at lines of text,” says Rutenberg, 29, who served as an Army medic in Iraq, riding in Black Hawk helicopters. He’s been searching for his “mainstay” career for about a year. “Online, it’s tough to tell a person’s emotions, let alone a person’s energy.
One free employment tool available to vets is VetNet, as part of a joint effort by Google and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. VetNet is an employment database as part of the “Hiring Our Heroes” program; an outreach offering job fairs, career services and community. Now in its second year, Hiring Our Heroes has so far held more than 370 hiring fairs and has found employment for 14,100 vets and military spouses. Vision hiring a veteran – check the website for hiring fairs in your area. We would love to hear from anyone who has participated in the program.
Sources: Bill Briggs, NBC News contributor, Law Firm Newswire.