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State Leaders Hope to Find Jobs for Veterans

By Daniel Cherry | Published 18 Jan 2013 04:37pm | comments
The unemployment rate for veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan is three points higher than the national average. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, Mississippi leaders are looking for ways to get veterans back to work.
 
Mississippi is home to more than 28 thousand veterans who have served since 9/11, and many of those can't find work when returning from service. State leaders are reaching out to Mississippi companies to take a pledge to hire veterans. Jim McIngvale with Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, says Ingalls already employs about 15 hundred vets, but the shipyard has a couple thousand more positions opening up this year.
 
"They have the job skills. They know how to come to work on time, stay and work all day. Everything you want out of a good employee, they already have those skills when they come to us."
 
Recently, state employment officials and Governor Phil Bryant declared 2013 will be a year to take extra effort finding jobs for veterans and their spouses.
 
"More than just a handshake or a pat on the back, we should offer them an opportunity when they return. Let us make this the year to hire Mississippi heroes."
 
The Governor's Job Fair Network and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security will host three veterans' job fairs this year in Biloxi, Tupelo and Jackson. Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard Augustus Collins says this will be a big step towards getting veterans back to work.
 
"We have men and women who go to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and when they come home they don't have jobs to come back to. They give so much of themselves, and now when they come home they don't have meaningful employment to go back to. To where they can actually now, provide for themselves and their families."
 
The Governor says he's working with lawmakers to pass legislation this session that would make it easier for veterans to find jobs.

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