The veteran unemployment rate is staggering. Research shows the unemployment rate for veterans of the Second Gulf War is 16 percent. For veterans under 25, it’s a shocking 20 percent.
These statistics don’t just include veterans currently looking for work. They include those who tried to find work after leaving the service but couldn’t, either because of problems or because they didn’t know what resources were available. They have either left the job market or work day labor jobs. The government calls this group the “discouraged workforce.”
The unemployment rate also includes members of the National Guard of Reserves. Even though they are technically “working”, they are unable to work the civilian jobs they need to because they face constant deployment.
What other barriers keep veterans from transitioning smoothly from military service to civilian jobs? Perhaps the most common one is the fact that veterans don’t often know how to translate their military experience into civilian job qualifications. Military lingo or abbreviations don’t make much sense to civilian employers, so they don’t always realize that skills on a veteran’s resume are the skills the employer is looking for! The employer sees the acronyms and assumes the veteran isn’t ready to adapt to civilian life.
Sometimes employers fear that all veterans have “emotional baggage” post-service. Adjusting to live after military service is hard for anyone. For some, the struggle is greater as they battle things like Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), PTSD, drug use and suicidal thoughts. It is estimated that between 30 and 40 percent of soldiers returning from Afghanistan show signs of TBI and/or PTSD.
While these barriers may seem impossible to overcome, the truth is that they really shouldn’t even exist in the first place.
In regards to the military skills in veteran’s resumes, over 70 percent of military jobs are identical to civilian jobs, like doctors, lawyers or computer technicians. MVRC’s job coaches help veterans translate their skills into a language employers will understand. They have what it takes to work in civilian jobs. MVRC helps them communicate that.
As for problems like Traumatic Brain Injury or PTSD, they are very serious issues for veterans and MVRC works to help veterans with those issues turn their lives around. However, the reality is only one in ten of all veterans face these issues — which is actually lower than the civilian rate!
MVRC doesn’t just help veterans learn how to train for and look for civilian jobs. We also let businesses know that veterans are a large and underused source of excellent employees. MVRC is always looking to partner with other organizations to create a community dedicated to serving those who served our country. If you are an employer looking to hire a veteran or if you are a veteran looking for a job, call 614-230-0662 or visit us at www.milvetsrc.org.