EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Business

November 10, 2012

Battling for jobs

Veterans seek ways to get back in the workforce

It’s one of the most disheartening statistics in the job market’s slow recovery.

As the nation’s unemployment rate dipped below 8 percent in September, joblessness for post-Sept. 11 veterans was nearly 10 percent.

And younger female soldiers now in civilian life? Nearly 1 in 5 are unemployed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“There are a lot of companies that say they want veterans, but that conflicts with the unemployment numbers,” said Hakan Jackson, who was a biomedical equipment technician in the Air Force from 2000 to 2012. Jackson, 31, believes it’ll be easier to find a job after completing MBA studies at Boston University.

There is some good news for the 1 million veterans expected to leave the armed forces over the next four years: Corporate America is increasingly professing a desire to hire veterans, saying they value certain qualities that former soldiers bring to the workplace.

Earlier this year, Internet search giant Google Inc. named Harry Wingo — a Yale law school graduate who spent six years as a Navy SEAL — its veteran community programs manager to ramp up efforts to hire more former soldiers.

In October, Chicago-based Boeing Co. and three other industrial companies formed a coalition to train veterans in 10 states for advanced manufacturing positions that often go unfilled because job candidates lack the skills. Last year, New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. helped found the 100,000 Jobs Mission, which has a goal of hiring that many service members worldwide by 2020.

University of Chicago MBA student Bryson DeTrent, 29, who was in the National Guard for 12 years and has helped lead special operations in 16 countries, including Afghanistan, thinks there are four key reasons why vets, particularly women, haven’t found jobs:

It’s too easy to collect unemployment.

Many women are planning to start families or make up for time lost.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business

Financial News
Stocks
Photos of the Week