Military veterans who are looking for jobs have a big opportunity next week. And efforts like Hiring Our Heroes to reduce high veteran unemployment are reporting progress so far.
In January of 2011, Reuters reported unemployment among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan was at 15%, much higher than the 9% for non-veterans. Veterans have been struggling to put their military skills to work at home. Campaigns to encourage companies to hire veterans have helped to reduce unemployment among these returning vets to about 10% at the end of last year.
The 100,000 Jobs Mission is a group of companies that have pledged to hire 100,000 veterans by the year 2020. After the first year, it's reporting nearly 52,000 have gotten jobs, putting them half way to their goal.
Meantime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring Our Heroes campaign says it has secured jobs for 85,000 veterans, working towards it's goal of 500,000.
Add to that, Wal-Mart just announced it will hire 100,000 veterans over 5 years.
Locally, a job fair for veterans is next week. RecruitMilitary is holding a job fair on Thursday, January 31. It's at the Richmond International Raceway from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Three hundred veterans and their spouses are expected to attend. Companies that will interview candidates on site include Dominion Paving, the McGuire Woods VA Medical Center, Exelon, National Oilwell Varco, and Capital One.