Helping Ohio’s Unemployed Veterans Posted December 28, 2013 by Len Proper

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According to the latest census data, there are about 900,000 veterans in Ohio. Each year, about 12,000 new veterans leave active military service and come home to the Buckeye state. With a real unemployment rate of over 12%, there are now over 60,000 unemployed veterans in Ohio – and nearly 1.5 million unemployed veterans across the country.

Despite efforts by government and business to develop and promote “jobs for vets” initiatives, finding work continues to be a struggle for many veterans. According to data from News 21, fewer than 10% of veterans attending the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes job fairs found work through the 500+ fairs that have been held since 2011. Veteran-friendly job search sites are even worse, with job offers for registered vets in the range of 1-2%.

If these methods don’t work, why offer them? Because government and business leaders want to be seen doing something – and it’s easy, and more visible, to spend money on glitzy websites and heavily promoted events. So what works? Any soldier will tell you that technology alone will not win any war. Sooner or later, you have to have boots on the ground. That is true in the career field as well. The fanciest, most heavily promoted website in the world will not help a vet get a job if his resume sucks. Garbage In, Garbage Out.

That’s what makes Military Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) so different. From the beginning, MVRC coaches have been in the trenches with veterans, cleaning up resumes, teaching interview skills and reaching out to find vet-friendly employers. We recognize that after being part of an organization where the mission comes first and every soldier has a role to play, coming home and being unable to provide for yourself or your family can place a heavy burden on the shoulders of a veteran.

At MVRC, veterans are not left to fend for themselves. As soon as a vet comes into one of our centers he/she immediately is assigned to a coach who will be with them every step of the way as they identify the barriers that affect their employability. With the coach’s help, the vet can identify and gain access to resources that will overcome those barriers.

It isn’t glitzy or written in headlines. But it works.