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Veterans Get Skills to Work

Wed, 08/28/2013 - 1:53pm
Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

Programs target the manufacturing skills gap by improving training and access for military veterans.

According to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, there are nearly one million unemployed veterans today. In fact, data the organization released in November of last year showed that 211,000 of those are Iraq and Afghanistan-era vets.

The veteran unemployment problem is a nuanced one. According to DoSomething.org, the country’s largest not-for-profit for young people and social change, the unemployment rate for veterans is three percent higher than that of the general population — with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) cited as the leading cause. Couple this with the difficulty many veterans face when re-acclimating into society and add a less-than-stellar economy – and now you’ve got a problem with as many thorns as the flag has stars. Yet, veterans often have the unique skills in leadership, work ethic, and hands-on technical repair that make them prime candidates for skilled trades, and federal agencies, trade associations, and manufacturers are starting to identify this group as a target area for filling a widening gap in the labor force.

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