Serving Those Who Served
Did you know that the unemployment rate for returning service men and women is more than 13% and significantly higher for those ages 18 to 24? The down economy has been difficult for many but few have felt the impact more than our veteran's. What's interesting is how much military training and skills have changed over the years due to technological advances, meaning today's veterans possess a variety of skills that prior generations never would have had.
Consider the number of medical and high tech innovations that are the result of military research and development. Wouldn't it make sense to hire the very people who are responsible for either developing or using these tools? I know from talking to a recently returned veteran that many of the skills being used overseas are beyond my limited technological realm.
Traditionally veterans could be counted on for bringing skills in leadership, teamwork and discipline to the workplace. Add to that the training they now have in computers, logistics, mapping, GPS, supply chain, and so much more and you have a ready workforce that could be an asset to most businesses.
At the national and state level, I am pleased to see that government officials have taken the issue of veteran unemployment seriously and put into place a variety of programs to help them find work, transition their skills and access career advice and counseling. Our Chamber, through its affiliation with the Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE) supported the Governor's Interagency Task Force on Hiring Veterans which directed all Executive Branch agencies to promote the benefits of hiring veterans. We also continue to work with Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, who chairs the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services.
The Massachusetts legislature also passed this year the Valor Act which creates increased supports for veteran-owned businesses, Gold Star Families, military children and higher education access in the commonwealth. Among other provisions, the VALOR Act provides greater access to financial assistance for small businesses; affords greater opportunities for service-disabled veterans to participate in public projects; makes it easier for children of military personnel to transfer between school districts and states; and expands supports from the Massachusetts Military Family Relief Fund to Gold Star Families.
The Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce is proud to support "Hiring Our Heroes," a program of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. On September 12th a job fair for veteran job seekers, active duty military, members of the National Guard and reserve components, and military spouses will be held at the American Legion Post in Dedham. This will be a FREE hiring fair for both employers and job seekers.
If you would like to have your company participate please contact . If you know a veteran seeking employment please encourage them to attend the event. You can learn more by clicking here.
We are pleased to partner on this event with the American Legion, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS), the Massachusetts Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Student Veterans of America, NBC News, and other local partners. We are also pleased that state Senator, Michael Rush will be in attendance. Senator Rush is actively serving in the U. S. Naval Reserves and chairs the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.
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