Rallying cry: Jobs for our veterans

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There’s some good news to report as we near Veterans Day this Saturday.

First, one of the most horrific casualties of our society is actually easing. That casualty is homelessness among our military heroes.

According to a 2016 Christian Science Monitor story, teamwork has begun to dramatically decrease veteran homelessness. Since 2010, veteran homelessness had fallen by 47 percent, a point in time study showed, and the percentage was even better (more than half) for unsheltered veterans. Credit goes to a variety of governmental agencies but also “boots on the ground” at the state and local levels.

Further good news: Veterans have been finding more and more job opportunities in this robust economic environment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, post-9/11 veterans faced an unemployment rate of 12.1 percent in 2011. That number had dropped to 5.5 percent earlier this year.

However, a Military Times article notes that a great many of these younger returning soldiers are underemployed. The story cites examples of veterans working two jobs yet still being evicted from their apartments because they still couldn’t make ends meet.

Idaho’s Labor Department is doing its best to put veterans and good jobs together in Kootenai County. Today from 10 a.m. to noon at the Labor office, 600 N. Thornton St. in Post Falls, more than 100 veteran-friendly employers will be seeking good help.

“These employers are looking to hire people with a variety of skills and are hoping to fill a diverse set of job openings including positions in information technology, manufacturing, engineering, social work, case management, accounting, data analysis, health care, the food industry, help desk and more,” a Labor press release says.

According to the press release, veterans should bring copies of their resumes and dress to meet potential employers. They should have information at hand that will be needed to fill out job applications.

We applaud the Labor Department for this veteran-focused job fair. Even more, we’re grateful to all the local businesses that go out of their way to give veterans a chance to join the workforce and earn not just a livable wage, but the self-respect they richly deserve.

For a list of employers participating in today’s job fair, go to: http://bit.ly/2hNnzvL

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