Our Opinion: Vets make good workers

Published 9:18 am Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hire a veteran.

The unemployment rate in American is generally around 6 percent, but for veterans who served since 2001, it is more like 9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That’s an improvement over last year, when the jobless rate for the same group of veterans was around 10 percent and much better than three years ago when it was more like 12 percent. The rate for veterans ages 18 to 14 was hovering around 30 percent back then and now is a little more than 20 percent.

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Still, the numbers lag behind the civilian population. Why?

Veterans are entering a job market that punishes people with less education. More American employers need to consider military services as a form of education. Many of the online means of submitting a resume do not even have a space for military service. The fact that someone is a veteran goes unnoticed.

Other employers see veterans as people who don’t have experience in the private sector. And some employers falsely worry about dealing with veterans becoming accustomed to civilian life. Though some vets struggle after wars — an issue society has paid more attention to lately — the fact remains that most veterans transition quite well.

Veterans are a good hire because they have a wide range of skills, understand the value of respect, take responsibility, are resourceful in a pinch, have a good work ethic, are proud of their country and, let’s not forget, usually are in good shape. Their skills often translate well in civilian life in ways not seen by employers. And veterans often are really good with technology because the military is tech-heavy.

The mixture of tech skills, resourcefulness and willingness to take initiative means this: The veteran usually becomes the person in the workplace who can figure things out when no one else can.

So hire a veteran. You won’t regret it.