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Today Is Veterans Day: Why Not Hire One?

PHOTO: While today is Veterans Day, Governor John Kasich has declared November to be "Hire a Veteran Month" in Ohio, to encourage businesses to consider the unique skills of military veterans as they seek employees. Photo credit: Flazingo Photos/Flickr.
PHOTO: While today is Veterans Day, Governor John Kasich has declared November to be "Hire a Veteran Month" in Ohio, to encourage businesses to consider the unique skills of military veterans as they seek employees. Photo credit: Flazingo Photos/Flickr.
November 11, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Finding work is no easy task for the estimated 35,000 unemployed veterans in Ohio.

Ryan Thompson, bureau chief of Veteran Workforce Services with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, says veterans returning home face a number of challenges, including trying to apply the skills they've acquired in the military to a civilian setting. He says some have a difficult time understanding they are really starting over.

"A lot of them have a misconception that once they get out of the military they're going to jump right into a high-paying position or middle management," says Thompson. "After several months of not finding anything, they begin to lower their standards into a door-opening opportunity."

At Ohio Means Jobs Centers around the state, Thompson says counselors can help veterans transition into today's job market. The agency can also provide job training and resume assistance, along with referrals for housing, health care, transportation, and other needs.

Governor Kasich proclaimed November Hire a Veteran Month in Ohio, and Thompson says they are encouraging businesses to consider the value of military veterans and the unique skills they can bring to the workplace. Thompson adds employers can get help finding skilled veterans through the Veterans Business Support Center.

"We try to figure out what it is they're looking for and what the veterans bring to the table," he says. "Then set up some type of internal veterans business group or some type of retainment opportunity for them to be able to keep those veterans in place."

The center has helped over 1,000 employers and placed 58 veterans into jobs since launching in July.

Veterans can learn more about services available at www.ohiomeansjobs.com.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH