EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSJOBS FOR VETS
from Eyewitness News Online
Agencies Working To Help Vets Get To Work
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Jan. 11, 2012 1:09 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 11, 2012 11:41 PM EST
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
As more and more veterans return home from Iraq and Afghanistan, they're facing many of the same problems as a lot of Americans when it comes to finding a job.
"It was really scary for me, because I'd never been unemployed." When Jessica Homeres got back from her second tour of duty overseas, she wasn't alone.
"Unfortunately with many of the guard members and reserve coming back from active duty, they are experiencing an even higher level of unemployment."
"No one told me what to do and it was kind of a frightening experience."
Luckily, more and more agencies are recognizing the need, and reaching out.
"We're trying to make this transition a little bit easier."
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a program through the Department of Defense, recently launched "Hero 2 Hired." It streamlines resources from writing resumes, to finding educational or training opportunities, or translating military skills into civilian jobs.
Holley says, "It just facilitates the employment process. We provide virtual job fairs. We provide real job fairs."
The V.A.'s recently opened homeless veterans office in downtown Huntington is also filling a need.
LeeAnn Bills is the homeless program coordinator. She says, "Some of our veterans are faced with multiple problems that are knocking them down, and they need someone to kind of lift them up out of the situation that they're in, so having resources available, having people available, who can kind of jump through the hoops that they need."
She also says, "There's incentives for employers to hire our veterans, and sometimes we just need to go out and talk to those employers and let them know there's a good reason to hire our veterans, and so that's the other piece of the program we're doing."
Homeres finally found a job as a contractor for TMG services in Huntington, working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As a graduate student at Marshall University, she used some of the services they offer to help make her career move. She says,
"It's not an easy process. It's something that you have to work hard at."
She says she feels her military background gave her an unique perspective. "We have the skills and the background to be dedicated and motivated to want to do that job."
You can find out more about resources for veterans looking for work at:
While you're there, you can also find out how to nominate an employer for a Freedom award, through the ESGR program with the Department of Defense. It's the highest award available to civilian employers, and a military service member or their spouse can nominate an employer they think goes above and beyond the norm to help that person.
Other helpful sites include: "H2H.jobs" and "wvmilitaryconnection.org".
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