As we honor veterans today, it’s important to note that far too many of those who put their lives on the line are now unemployed. While the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for former service members fell to 4.5 percent in October (its lowest point since August 2008), the youngest vets are still struggling. Josh Hicks reports in the Washington Post:

“The bureau published a report on Monday showing that younger veterans struggle considerably more with unemployment than those who are older. The jobless rate for former troops between ages 18 and 25 last year was about 21 percent on average, while the overall rate for veterans was barely above 6 percent during that time.”

It’s a very dismal report, but we are heartened by the example of one employer. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, has committed to hiring 10,000 vets over five years, and has employed a veteran recruiter, and are now 10% of the way to attaining that goal. Schultz says that the veteran recruiter “understands the language, understands the anxiety and can bridge the gap.” The company also has a network of veteran mentors.
It would be great if more employers followed his lead. You can’t do better than hiring a veteran. Here are 10 Reasons to Hire Vets.
Here are employment resources for veterans and for employers:
CareerOneStop – Hiring resources for businesses and human resources managers.
Workplace Warriors: The Corporate Response to Deployment and Reintegration (PDF)
Highlighting Best Practices in Human Resources and Disability Management
Employers can help America’s heroes succeed in the workplace by offering employee assistance and mentoring programs, advised the Workplace Warrior Think Tank – the first-of-its-kind group launched by the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC), the leading developer of employee health and productivity strategies, and three of the nation’s leading disability insurers – The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., MetLife and Unum.
For Employers: Helping Employees Reintegrate into Civilian Employment
A veteran’s return to work following a deployment or mobilization is an employment transition, and he or she often brings new skills of leadership, teamwork and a broadened perspective that can be invaluable to your organization. Additionally, like any other employee making a transition, a veteran’s transition may face some unusual circumstances. This resource helps employers understand how to help ease the reintegration of veterans in a number of ways.
Tips for Workforce Professionals on Assisting Veterans in the Job Search Process
Connect veterans, transitioning service members, and their families with career planning, training, job search, and other resources to help smooth their transition to civilian life.
Veterans’ Employment and Training Service – the U.S. Department of Labor offers veterans and transitioning service members with the resources and services designed to maximize employment opportunities, protect employment rights and meet labor-market demands with qualified veterans.
American Corporate Partners – a nationwide mentoring program helping veterans transition from the armed services to private enterprise through counseling and networking with volunteers from some of America’s largest corporations.
American Heroes at Work – a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) project that addresses the employment challenges of returning service members living with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
National Center for PTSD – this site from the Division of Veteran Affairs aims to help U.S. Veterans and others through research, education, and training on trauma and PTSD.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act – a federal law intended to ensure that persons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard or other “uniformed services”: (1) are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service; (2) are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty; and (3) are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service.
Safeguarding the rights of servicemembers and veterans – from the U.S. Department of Justice
Disabled American Veterans – Congressionally chartered as the official voice of the nation’s wartime disabled veterans, for nearly nine decades this 1.2 million-member nonprofit has been dedicated to building better lives for America’s disabled veterans and their families.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs – Veterans Services – Veterans of the United States armed forces may be eligible for a broad range of programs and services provided by the VA. Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions, and certain benefits require service during wartime.
Department of Veteran Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program – Information for Employers – Employers hiring disabled veterans may qualify for benefits and incentives through the VR & E programs or other Federal Resources.
esi.JPG Returning service members face the challenge of reintegration in the family, the workplace, the community. Some will face the special challenges of coping with physical or psychological wounds, such as PTSD. ESI EAP offers members a variety of services addressing the challenges of military deployment. We also have resources for employers. To learn more about how ESI EAP can help, give us a call: 800-535-4841.


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