State employment department gears up for veterans

As Washington communities across the state prepare to celebrate Veterans Day next week, the Employment Security Department will be gearing up for another year of service to those who served.

“Celebrating Washington veterans is not just a one-day event for us,” said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee. “The Employment Security Department is committed to helping veterans and their families find quality jobs 365 days a year.”

The Employment Security Department has employment counselors at WorkSource offices across the state who are assigned to help veterans find jobs, including disabled veterans.
From July 2006 through June 2007, the department and its partners at WorkSource placed nearly 19,000 veterans into jobs at an average wage of $13.26 per hour. Eighty-four percent of those veterans were still employed after six months.

In all, more than 29,000 veterans received some type of employment assistance from WorkSource during the period. Types of services include help with résumés, interviewing skills, job referrals, skills training, apprenticeships, vocational rehabilitation and referrals to other community resources, such as food banks and shelters.

Of those veterans served, some 13,000 were aged 18 to 44. In addition, 7,600 had some degree of disability, and 5,130 had exited the military within the past three years.

“Today veterans are among the best trained candidates in the job market,” said Lee. “They have excellent skills and bring a great work ethic to the job. They just need a business to reach out and give them a chance.”

To help connect veterans with employers who are looking to hire, WorkSource will host nine veterans’ job fairs across the state in observance of Veterans Day. South Sound fairs include:

— Tacoma, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 7, at Amvets Post #1, 5717 S. Tyler.

— Olympia, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 8, at National Guard Armory, 515 Eastside St.

Employers who are interested in hiring veterans but don’t know where to start, as well as veterans who are looking for work, should contact their local WorkSource office. There are currently 610,000 military veterans living in Washington.

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