Mon., Dec. 12
Jobs for Vets
Unemployment for veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars sits around 12.1 percent right now. Estimates for female soldiers are higher, and for young returning vets, unemployment rates could be as high as 30 percent. Any way you look at it, those numbers are well above the civilian unemployment rate of 8.6 percent, and could get worse as soldiers come home from Iraq this month.
Pres. Barack Obama recently signed on to the Vow to Hire Heroes Act - which offers benefits and incentives for hiring service members - and Massachusetts and other states declared November Hire-a-Vet month. Today we'll find out about those initiatives, as well as the challenges returning veterans face in finding jobs and getting back to civilian life.
Colleen Barber works for the VA Medical Center in Boston. She's a vocational counselor to veterans and active duty members looking for employment or transitioning back to the civilian workforce.
Wilford Corey leads the Massachusetts chapter of Hire Patriots. The service matches up out-of-work veterans with same-day jobs in the community. He's also a military veteran who served as an armor crewman for the US Army.
Lt. Governor Tim Murray is Chair of the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans Affairs. Along with Governor Patrick he has spearheaded Massachusetts' November Hire a Veteran program.