LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
Veterans in the hunt for employment don't need to be reminded that the job market is tight. Recent headlines say it all - "Veterans now battling unemployment - State officials are urged to aid returning war vets."
In June the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans was 12.4 percent.
Overall, veterans represent about 20 percent of the unemployed in Texas.
In San Antonio, there is a new initiative underway to help veterans find suitable employment by streamlining the process of getting help with resume writing, interview techniques, and concrete job leads all tailored to industries currently hiring.
Help has long been available but navigating the system has been difficult. This new initiative, known as the South Texas Employment Initiative Program, helps provide a road map to success.
The South Texas EIP is a coalition of the Department of Defense's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, The Department of Labor/Veterans' Employment and Training Service, the Texas Veterans Commission, and the Alliance for Veterans and Families.
The program is working to reduce the challenge of dealing with over 27 different agencies and countless private and public job programs in an effort to better support veterans who are looking for employment.
The organization's objectives are to provide timely assistance with the employment hunt by giving veterans immediate assistance and/or training and then connecting them with employers who are ready to hire.
The EIP has three principal short-term goals.
Register Online - Get the word to all Veterans and Active and Reserve component job seekers that their number one priority is to register online at www.workintexas.com.
The site will automatically put applicants in touch with the Texas Veterans Commission, where help is immediately available for all aspects of the job hunt.
Ensure Maximum Participation - Help ensure maximum attendance, by veterans and military friendly employers, at three scheduled career fairs.
Provide Assistance - Support each career fair with a workshop that can help with online registration and provide immediate assistance to applicants as they prepare to meet the employer representatives.
The first career fair will be Texas Veterans Commission Career Fair and Workshop Sept. 21 at the Live Oak Center in Universal City.
The second event is the Military Officers Association of America Career Fair and Workshop, held Oct. 26-27 at the Marriott River Walk in San Antonio, and the final fair is the
Noncommissioned Officers Association Career Fair and Workshop on Nov. 15 at the Norris Convention Center in San Antonio.
All three career fairs are open to current and prior service military members, active and reserve, who are seeking employment.
The South Texas Veterans Employment Initiative encourages all veterans to take advantage of this program by registering with the Texas Work Force Commission and then calling the Texas Veterans Commission counselors at 822-7640 for further assistance.
All TVC services are free to veterans, active and reserve component military and their family members.