EMPOWERING AMERICA'S NEWEST VETERANS
Members of the armed forces do more than serve the United States; they are valuable assets to the domestic labor market. Yet as American troops come home, they face one of the toughest job markets in decades. This year, joblessness among veterans who have served since 2001 climbed to a soaring 15.2 percent, reaching 20.9 percent among veterans ages 18–24.
While today’s veterans are highly trained and skilled, many find that civilian employers don’t understand how their military skills translate to the civilian workforce. Stigma around post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health challenges, combined with concerns about possible future deployments, compound employer unfamiliarity with veteran experiences. Additionally, veterans returning home are offered few resources for transitioning into the civilian workforce. This Working Group will focus on developing strategies to lower unemployment among new veterans by educating employers and equipping veterans with critical tools for success.
Developing strategies to increase civilian employers’ understanding of veterans’ experiences and job skills will facilitate an easier military to civilian career transition.
Sharing best practices among veteran-friendly corporations can highlight new ways to strategically improve veteran hiring among major employers.
NAVIGATING CIVILIAN OPPORTUNITIES
Identifying ways to prepare veterans for the civilian workforce, and highlighting successful examples of veteran-launched advocacy organizations, nonprofits, and small businesses, can help inspire entrepreneurship among new veterans.
MENTORING AND PARTNERSHIP
Developing more robust networking and mentorship opportunities for new veterans is a critical piece of improving the post-service transition process.
Addressing veterans as valuable additions for employers rather than liabilities and increasing awareness of support services available to both veterans and employers is a key priority to improving veterans hiring initiatives.