Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New South Carolina National Guard Program Cuts Veteran Unemployment Rates

SC National Guard soldier Jonathan LeBlanc recently
found a job with Moore Quality Builders
An innovative new program in South Carolina has drastically lowered unemployment rates among National Guard members and Reservists over the past year.

But how has South Carolina succeeded while so many other states’ unemployment rates remain far too high? Jeff Wilkinson of South Carolina's The State decided to interview the minds behind the program and find out more in his story this Saturday.
The state's Guard’s Employment Services program takes a simple approach to help veterans: build their relationships with potential employers. Col. Ronald Taylor, director of the S.C. Guard’s Service Member and Family Care programs, says that “prior to the program, employers who wanted to hire might not have been aware of qualified Guard employees, and vice versa.”
Gen. Robert Livingston, Jr., the state’s Guard commander, agreed: ‘It was just a matter of matching them up.”

This simple, yet innovative, approach has plummeted the unemployment rate for soldiers from 16% to 4.7% in just two years. Wilkinson writes that by combining training workshops to teach service members how to prepare for civilian jobs with outreach to potential employers searching for skilled workers, South Carolina’s program has successfully fit together the two crucial pieces in its state’s unemployment puzzle.
The American Jobs for American Heroes campaign has used this same strategy to improve employment opportunities for service members.  With the support of state chambers of commerce, trade associations and major corporations, as well as a recruiters, career counselors, and employment-readiness training, the campaign team helps connect many military personnel with American employers.
We need more efforts like these across all 50 states.  Employers and those who want to support the troops can learn more about the American Jobs for American Heroes program by visiting our website today.
To read Jeff Wilkinson's full article, click here.

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