Hundred of job-seeking veterans found a new hope in the workforce Wednesday at the "Putting America Back to Work" event in Plantation, Fla. Radio host and TV personality Geraldo Rivera made a special appearance that afternoon, handing out advice to the job hunters before broadcasting his national show live from the event.
Sponsored by local radio station WFTL-AM, the job fair mainly targeted veterans who are transitioning into civilian work, though more than half of the attendees were non-military.
The companies that attended, such as AutoNation, preferred hiring workers with military experience because of the qualities they possessed, the Sun Sentinel reported.
"They're disciplined, willing to work long hours and are looking for opportunity," said AutoNation spokesman Marc Cannon. He told the news source that the company has hired more than 200 military veterans since 2011.
Seminole Gaming, a casino company with headquarters in Hollywood, Fla., also showed its support for veterans. Seminole spokesman Gary Bitner told the news outlet that nearly 650 veterans have been hired at the company's Florida casinos since 2010.
Although the unemployment rate for veterans is continuing to decline, the numbers remain higher than the unemployment rates for the general population. The unemployment rate for all veterans in August 2013 was 7.7 percent, compared to 7.3 for the general population. However, Gulf War-era II veterans, or those who served as active- duty since 2001, have the highest unemployment rate among veterans at 10.3 percent. By comparison, 7.8 percent of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam-era are unemployed, while Gulf War-era I veterans fared better at 7.1 percent.