To the Editor:
An immediate and major issue in our country is the unemployment rate among our veterans.
There currently are more than 900,000 unemployed former members of our Armed Forces who have served during the past several years in various areas of the world. The unemployment rate far exceeds the national unemployment rate.
Under the Vow To Hire Heroes Act of 2011, provisions were established to help give the men and women employment upon honorable discharge from the armed forces. This Act also gives our veterans extensions up to one year on their military benefits pending employment in high demand sectors.
Businesses are allowed tax credits up to $5,600 for hiring veterans based on their months/years unemployed after returning from the service. This is a major incentive that needs to be publicized across the country.
Additionally, disabled veterans receive Veterans Administration Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits. At the same time, employers who hire “Wounded Warriors” that are unemployed for six months or more receive a tax credit up to $9,600.
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Vet Success Program assists veterans who have service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find and keep suitable jobs. The program provides vocational counseling and rehabilitation services.
In March of 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce National Foundation launched a non-profit program entitled “Hiring our Heroes.” The Chamber of Commerce has hosted more than 230 hiring fairs in 48 states and more are being planned. They offer traditional hiring fairs as well as virtual hiring fairs for “in person” and computerized applications and information. To be eligible for participation in the Hiring our Heroes Program, veterans must have been honorably discharged.
What everyone must remember is that these men and women returning from active duty have endured hardships in the field that are difficult for civilians to imagine. They have lived a military lifestyle away from loved ones for prolonged periods of time. Many of them entered the Armed Services directly from high school and have had no education in resume preparation or interviewing skills. They need counseling in the possible areas where their service-acquired skills would be valuable to employers. Most of them are well prepared to work under stressful situations and to multitask – two important skills most employers are currently looking for in those they consider for employment.
With the above resources and with constant dissemination in the national press, television and computer information sites concerning the resources and job fairs that are available, let us look forward to more aggressive hiring of the defenders of the United States.
The Health Information Management Class Course 130
Sanford Brown Institute