Friday, April 12, 2013

National Guard Members' Next Battle: The Job Hunt

The Center for America's campaign American Job for America's Heroes has a special focus on connecting members of the US National Guard with American employers.

Today, we thought we'd share some information that explains our special interest in assisting National Guard members.

Statistics show that the unemployment rate for members of the National Guard is currently hovering around 20%, about twice the rate of all military veterans as a group.  This means that there are more than 60,000 unemployed National Guard members looking for jobs right now.

A compelling story from NPR explored the circumstances surrounding the 182nd Regiment of the Army National Guard as they returned home after a year-long deployment from Afghanistan.  Shockingly, a survey of the regiment's members as they prepared to return home showed that about one in three were unemployed or looking for work.

NPR cites the Army data noting that these so-called "citizen soldiers" have been mobilized more in the past decade than at any other time since the Korean War.  As a result, for these men and women, being in the National Guard has become a full-time job.  As they return from combat, however, these members of the National Guard are struggling to build or return to careers.  Returning National Guard members in particular have a hard time finding work because the nature of their service may require that they return to active duty again for a year or more.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the National Guard members are facing a crisis.  National Guard members, highlighted by the LA Times, often take on additional deployments because they cannot find civilian work, putting a strain on their health and the health of their families.

These heartbreaking tales of heroes who return to unemployment inspire the work of AJAH.

You can get involved by registering to post your open jobs on the Center for America website here.

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