Massachusetts leads the nation in providing benefits and services to the 385,000 veterans and their families that reside in the Commonwealth and it’s paying off.
Massachusetts has seen a dramatic drop in the veterans’ unemployment rate down to 2.7%* in the first quarter of 2014. The national unemployment rate for all veterans has dropped from a high of 9.8% in 2011 to 5%. **
Veterans are getting hired because employers realize the value a veteran brings to their organization, the dedication, leadership and the ability to get the job done regardless of the pressure around them.
State government and institutions of higher learning are reaching out to the veteran community to fill job vacancies. Earlier this year, the Patrick Administration hosted a statewide job fair to introduce veterans to good-paying public service jobs. Nearly 300 veterans attended the career fair. All Secretariats in the Executive Branch as well as the Judiciary, Authorities and Suffolk County were represented, with a total of 55 public employers in attendance.
For the second year in a row, Harvard University is partnering with the 33 Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers to host a Veterans’ Appreciation Event in the fall. About 100 veterans are expected to attend this all day casual and friendly networking event to learn how to navigate careers in higher education. Look for more information on this event to be posted soon.
If you’re a new veteran returning to civilian employment, there is dedicated support through the Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers. At each Career Center, veterans receive front of the line service with a veterans’ representative and staff ready to help you with career guidance, job matching, training opportunities and resources to get you back to work quickly.
Each month, Career Centers host recruitments and job fairs where veterans are given priority to meet with hiring employers. Career Centers also offer a number of programs like the Hiring Incentive Training Grant that pays employers when they hire veterans. Be sure to tell a prospective employer about these incentives – it may help clinch the job for you!
Here’s a great tip from Dennis Pellegrino, a former Navy veteran and now a Veteran’s Representative for Career Source in Cambridge. “I encourage veterans to go into a career center and take advantage of the special services geared toward helping veterans. And to stay in touch with the Vet Rep to explore opportunities that come up frequently. “
To learn more about Veterans’ programs and services or to find a veterans’ representative in your local area, go to www.mass.gov/dcs/veterans.
*Current Population Survey
Task Force on Persons Facing Chronically High Rates of Unemployment posted on Feb 1
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Baker-Polito Administration Awards $8.9 Million in Workforce Training Grants posted on Dec 10
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