With another Veterans Day having passed, the country had a chance to salute veterans for their service.
At CareerSource Suncoast, we make it a daily priority to serve veterans with their employment needs and help reintegrate them back into civilian life.
CareerSource Suncoast has four staff members, all veterans, exclusively tasked and trained to deal with the unique experiences and challenges facing service members as they transition to civilian employment.
While there are many elements that go into getting veterans employed, we focus on two: providing career coaching and guidance to veterans with disabilities or barriers such as homelessness or arrest records, and working directly with employers to uncover their needs and then train the veterans we are working with to fulfill those needs.
During the past year, we have helped secure employment for 238 veterans.
Our region is also able to serve our veteran population thanks to the hard work and dedication from organizations such as Goodwill Manasota, Turning Points, JFCS, Harvest House, Salvation Army and so many others.
There is always room for improvement, and as the cliché goes, “It takes a village.”
The village showed up Thursday, when more than 40 employers packed the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex for a job fair specifically targeting veterans. That’s 40 employers with more than 200 job openings collectively, looking to hire veterans.
This makes a small dent, but with nearly 20,000 businesses in our region that employ more than 230,000 people, we can bring more employers on-board to secure jobs for the unemployed veterans in our communities.
Why hire a veteran? Recently I met with a few team members at the Design Concepts/Marine Concepts manufacturing plant in Sarasota. There, I spoke with Nick, a Navy veteran who had no experience in manufacturing before this job.
“I was able to transfer skills I learned in the Navy: attention to detail, chain of command, precision, efficiency and accuracy. Everything has a step and you can’t jump around,” he said.
Work ethic, timeliness, productivity and attention to detail are the traits I often hear from employers who go out of their way to hire veterans and invest in training them for a specific career.
These folks who have served our country proudly have the foundation to be a valuable member of your team.
Give them a chance. It’s worth it.
Ted Ehrlichman, president and CEO of CareerSource Suncoast, writes about workforce issues across the region.