Maryland Launches Veteran Hiring Challenge To Businesses - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Maryland Launches Veteran Hiring Challenge To Businesses

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SALISBURY, Md. - A new mission is in place in Maryland for vets: "Operation Hire." It's a statewide challenge for employers to add a valued resource to their ranks.

"We have veterans that come in every single day," said Greg Eberts, Labor Exchange Administrator for One Stop Job Market in Salisbury.

And now the 100-day-challenge could help make his job a bit easier. Between June 1 and September 9, businesses are encouraged to sign up with the Maryland Workforce Exchange to track veteran hires, and get access to a pool of applicants.

"Mainly, it's to look at ways to enhance what they're already doing to support veteran employment," said Dana Hendrickson, director of Outreach and Advocacy for Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.

Last week, President Obama announced nearly 20,000 vets would return home from Afghanistan by the end of 2015. Add that to the 21 million vets who were already in the U.S. last year, there's a need to help get veterans employed. Only about half of those 21 million were in the workforce.

"They have learned to adapt and make strong decisions under immense stress," Hendrickson said. "All of those soft skills employers are looking for these days, they already have it in their tool kit. They are kind of this wonderful jewel that have this wonderful resource and skill set to provide to our employers here in Maryland."

And that resiliency is why Eberts says they get preferred treatment when they visit the center.

"If you're a veteran, you go to the front of the line for service, you go to the front of the line for jobs," Eberts said. "They have spend some time out of the regular job market, and there's been some time protecting our country and serving us all. It's good to give back to these
veterans."

Officials say they need both the businesses and veterans to participate for the challenge to work. Veterans can come to the One Stop Job Market Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Businesses can also come to the One Stop Job Market to register, or sign up online on the operation hire web site.

Officials say they're collecting the data from businesses and veterans hired in the 100 day period, and recognize employers who have the highest rate of participation.

  

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