The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 154,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are still out of work. Their unemployment numbers, for both men and women (worse for women), are much higher than those in the civilian sector.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 154,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are still out of work. Their unemployment numbers, for both men and women (worse for women), are much higher than those in the civilian sector.


Fortunately, opportunity is finally knocking, thanks to the present administration’s campaign offering tax credits for employers, corporations getting more involved and increases in job fairs and new initiatives by state and federal agencies.


Added incentives come under the Jobs for Veterans Act, namely, improved employment, training and placement services furnished to veterans and for other purposes. The next jobs fair and career exposition on the Missouri side is 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 4 at Union Station.


Before you go, you might want to think about job preparation such as presenting a proper resume or how best to utilize your military skills.


That’s where non-profit workforce partnerships in Missouri and Kansas have your back. They emphasize that numerous reports from military and civilian sources indicate a large number of veterans fail to use available services.


This Friday, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Workforce Partnership Center at 9221 Quivira Road in Overland Park will avail veterans and their spouses of those free services available in their veterans’ introductory program known as VIP. Job-seeking veterans can learn of who to go to and where to go to for career guidance, resume writing, interview techniques, job listings and job searching strategies along with other advice.


Mike Randol, the state veterans service manager for the Kansas Department of Commerce, tells me their programs assisted orienting more than 12,000 jobless veterans last year. He adds, “The number one issue confronting job-seeking veterans is applying their military skills to civilian skills. They need to be learning new terminology and jargon that abounds in the civilian sector.”


James Madril, one of the Workforce Partnership officials, notes about 15 to 20 veterans attend each month, including disabled veterans.


Randol emphases it’s for all veterans, “I even had an 86-year-old World War II veteran attend looking for a job.”


For the March 30 VIP session, contact James Madril at 913-577-5907 or jmadril@kansasworks.com.


Information on the April 4 Missouri job fair can be found at www.missourivets.com.


I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.