Despite advances, some veterans still struggling to find work

Updated: 11/11/2013 11:39 PM
Created: 11/11/2013 10:55 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

Today is the day we honor the men and women who have served our country. And while a report says more and more veterans have been given jobs over the past year, some say more can be done.

One group says 10 percent of veterans who served after September 11th, are unemployed and that number is just too high.

So how can they find jobs?

The lack of jobs for veterans has been called a national disgrace. But a report says the federal government's efforts over the past 7 months have helped 117,000 vets and their spouses find work. But when you consider there are millions of vets, it's not nearly solving the problem.

When Danny Martinez ended a 20 year career in the Navy back in 2009, he thought he would have no problem getting a good job. After all he had served his country honorably and collected a wealth of skills and experience. But that's not what he found.

“It was really difficult. I became really stressed out. Talking to employers they really didn't seen to give you the time of day. They would accept you and take your resume, but they would file it away, and not follow up and you'd never hear from them again,” said Martinez.

After 9 months of that, he finally connected with an employer and today works at the VA Hospital in Canandaigua.

Martinez says his experience is more common than most people know. He says military skills are often seen as not transferrable or relevant in today's job market.

“Networking with the local community and the department of labor it was very difficult to find somebody who was looking to hire somebody with my skill set,” said Martinez.

But that could be changing. A recent victory media poll found 185 employers who have hiring programs targeted to veterans. The 117,000 new hires are seen as a very positive shift that employers are looking for veterans. James Furrow says it's about time.

“They deserve an opportunity. You’re going there to fight a war you deserve an opportunity to have a job, a good job in this country,” said Furrows.

This Rochester Veteran was successful finding jobs after leaving the Navy. He says the problem: many veterans aren't plugged in.

 “A lot of veterans don't know of the resources that they have with the military. And it's a lot of funding right now for vets especially homeless vets as well.”

There is good news for veterans in New York State. In January employers will receive a tax credit for every veteran they hire. This is aimed at putting more veterans to work.


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