Veteran Re-Employment Program Soldiers On Despite Pandemic
Friday, July 3, 2020
Credit: Veterans Village
The US Department of Labor awarded Veterans Village a $733,000 grant this week to bring homeless veterans back into the workplace. It was part of $53 million in grants to 157 organizations across the country.
While the current unemployment rate for veterans fell for the second consecutive month in June, it still sits at more than double the number of jobless veterans reported in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In June, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans had an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent, a little bit lower than the overall national average but more than double the 3.9 unemployment rate for the same veterans in June of 2019.
Despite the dismal jobs numbers, Veterans Village is getting calls from employers.
“We actually have employers who are reaching out to us, to tell us they have jobs that are open,” said Brittney Murillo, assistant to the director of employment services at Veterans Village.
“Bus drivers. We do a lot of commercial truck driving licence, long haul. Amazon delivery stuff, there is a big need for that right now since everyone is shopping online. Also a lot of armed security,” Marillo said.
Veterans Village, a nonprofit, provides a number of services for homeless veterans, including housing, drug treatment and job training.
“We want to make sure we are putting them into a field that they are going to enjoy as well as have the competency to do it,” added Marillo.
Much of the training has been moved online since the coronavirus outbreak. Face-to-face meetings are now being replaced by conference calls and class sizes have been cut to provide social distancing. Despite this, Marillo says the organization’s placement rate is still roughly 84 percent for people who go through their program.
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