Veterans aren’t the only ones spreading the we-need-work message. In October, 448 thousand people were laid off. For men of the Iraq and Afghanistan generation, the employment rate was 9.6 percent last month 11.6 percent for women.
Younger veterans who enlisted straight from high school and have little or no work history rely on their skills to apply for certain jobs.
“Human resources, clerical jobs, I know we found a few with the county courthouse that fit what I did,” says Clarivel Garza, U.S. army veteran
With a family to provide for, Clarivel Garza, an army vet needed to find employment.
“I was in the military for 11 years and I went right out of high school, so for 11 years that’s all I knew,” explains Garza.
Making a decision was tough. Fortunately she walked into workforce solutions and found what she needed support.
“The programs are there, they’re there to help us reintegrate back to society, they are there to help us get back on our feet,” adds Garza.
“They can help identify which skill sets are transferable onto the civilian workforce. That they have acquired from the military background and some of those skills are very highly sought after from discipline to project management to general management,” explains Victor De Leon, Workforce Solutions, public affairs.
After a month of job-hunting and a couple of interviews, Clarivel went from the battlefield into the workforce.
“I think I was kind of luck that I got hired pretty quick,” adds Garza.
Clarivel is also going to school and among her dreams is to start a notary public business.
Veterans have attracted powerful support from the white house, capitol hill and fortune 500 companies resulting in tax breaks, job fairs, and pledges to hire hundreds of thousands who served the private sector has stepped in, too.
“Any day or any time a veteran identifies himself as a veteran he or she gets immediate attention so they never have to wait in line, they never have to make an appointment. They get first dips when they walk in,” explains De Leon.
Elda Arriaga is the director of the UTPA veterans service center. A one-stop shop which helps veteran students and dependents, spouses and children, obtain the certification to receive state and federal educational benefits.
“We assist veterans with financial aid, scholarships, admission application to the institution and try to be a support system for them here at UTPA,” says Elda Arriaga, UTPA Veterans Service Center director.
Currently, the center provides academic advisement and counseling to over 350 veteran students and more than 300 dependents enrolled at UTPA.
“We see what majors are available, what the university offers and what we can help them with services.,” explains Arriaga.
Benjamin Sandoval, currently attends UTPA.
“It took a lot of reflection seeing where I was as and making a big evaluation of my life and seeing where I wanted to be and then being that my wife was pregnant and I was having a child, I really asked myself is this the way I want to raise my family, is this the way I want my child to see me, without and education, so I needed to be a bigger role model and I decided to come back go school,” says Benjamin Sandoval, U.S. Army veteran.
Sandoval will graduate in may 2014 and just as he did in the battlefield. He will hit the ground running towards his dream job UTPA is one multiple institutions participating in the hiring red, white and you veteran job fair happening this week.
“There will be recruiters on site and there will be many jobs available, in fact right now, we have close to 2,000 job openings available for this specific event So there will be many job opportunities,” adds De Leon.
Last year’s inaugural hiring events throughout the state attracted more than 12 thousand veterans and 14 hundred employers’ statewide more than 28 hundred service men and women were matched with employers and hired as a result.
Veterans have much to offer Texas employers upon leaving the armed forces.