Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hire Veterans Pittsburgh Should Set an Example for the Nation

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hire Veterans Pittsburgh Should Set an Example for the Nation

Article excerpt

No American soldier should have to face unemployment upon his or her return home from war, as a job is often the single-most-important factor in ensuring a successful transition to civilian life. Unfortunately, a staggering 80 percent of veterans who leave service this year will struggle to find work, despite their uniquely diverse set of skills. Businesses here in Pittsburgh, home to so many veterans, can help set an example for employers across the country by investing in veterans, starting with prioritizing them for open jobs.

More than 840,000 veterans live in Pennsylvania, with nearly 10 percent of them calling Allegheny County home. For many, the biggest struggle following their return is employment. In a 2012 survey, more than two-thirds of veterans said that the most significant hurdle was translating their service experience to civilian employers.

While veterans are overwhelmingly more likely to be seen by employers as having discipline, loyalty and a greater ability to work on a team than those without military experience, finding employment remains difficult because many lack a typical resume. Their job titles and responsibilities are often unfamiliar to human-resources managers who don't know how rank and specialty translate to civilian work. This, combined with common stereotypes about military service, may cause HR departments to pause before considering veterans applications. This is a mistake and exactly why employers need to focus on hiring veterans.

Veterans may lack traditional employment histories, but they've almost certainly learned the necessary skills during their service for the jobs they seek. There are more than 800 job categories across the different branches of the armed forces, and these jobs provide training in a wide range of specialties that apply both to military and non-military positions, including cyber security, law, intelligence, logistics, financing and contracting. …

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