Miss. Businesses Focus on Hiring VeteransBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 12 Apr 2013 05:40am |
The unemployment rate for veterans who have served since nine eleven is a third higher than the national average. The same holds true in Mississippi and efforts are underway to get Mississippi businesses to hire some of these Mississippi veterans looking for work.
During the Mississippi Economic Council's Annual Meeting (MEC) meeting in Jackson on Thursday, MEC president Blake Wilson highlighted the importance of veterans returning from war and back to the state's workforce.
"The military is a huge part of the economic base of Mississippi."
Since 9/11 thousands of Mississippi servicemen and women have returned home with the expectation on returning to their jobs. However, because of multiple and extended tours of duty, Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins, Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard says many employers have found it challenging to survive without certain, skills, training and character that Mississippi veterans possess.
"It's very difficult especially if you're a small employer and you don't have a lot of employees," said Collins. "If they are willing to go and place their lives on the line to protect the freedoms and liberties that we have in this country, then we should go out of our way to make sure that they and their families are taken care of."
Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula is one of the many companies across the state making a pledge to hire Mississippi's military. Company representative, Tony Taylor talks about their efforts.
"We have a program called 'Veterans Resource Employment Team,' which takes care of deployed soldiers' families while they're down range being deployed. We also have a program where we hire veterans, so we are seeking out the veterans who have served looking for a life change," said Taylor.
Through a series of job fairs more than 500 Mississippi veterans have been offered employment this year.
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