Many businesses across the country are more than happy to hire veterans, but nonetheless it can sometimes be difficult for former servicemembers to find the right job. To that end, many communities occasionally organize job fairs for veterans in the hopes of connecting employers with very skilled men and women who need the work.
In Eugene, Oregon, just such a job fair was recently held at a large hotel in the city, and attracted a lot of interest from local veterans, according to a report from the Eugene Register-Guard. Of the roughly 80 former servicemembers – of all ages and military backgrounds – who showed up, many were able to file applications and even sit down for job interviews with 10 different companies that wanted to hire veterans specifically.
"I think veterans are an overlooked pocket of people," Linda Wagner, the human resources director at Oregon Supported Living Program, which had a booth at the job fair as well, told the newspaper. "Often vets need employers to be supportive. We understand the transition."
Wagner noted that her group placed more than 9 out of 10 veterans who enrolled in its programs last year into some sort of job, the report said. However, joblessness among veterans remains quite high, roughly 33 percent higher than the unemployment rate for the entire U.S.
Having a job can be crucial to helping veterans keep a sense of normalcy and positive self-worth. For this reason, it is important for employers to get over the unfair stigma that sometimes follows veteran applicants and consider hiring former servicemembers just as they would anyone else. These people can provide may job skills that they learned during their service, even if it's not a "traditional" job.