With many soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the expected downsizing of the Army, and the higher-than-average unemployment rate of returning veterans, Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) has five steps that businesses can take to help vets make the transition from military to civilian life.
- Publicize job openings at military bases and veterans services locations.
- Contact local state and community colleges to "to develop a pipeline of the many veterans who are using BI Gill benefits," said Murray.
- Educate employees involved in hiring about the benefits of hiring veterans, and how skills learned in the military can translate to civilian jobs.
- Provide on-the-job training, or work with local colleges to provide the necessary training for a particular job.
- Establish company-wide groups for newly-discharged veterans, to help them quickly acclimate to the new civilian lifestyle.
Sen. Murray mentions that some veterans don't mention their military service on their resumes, for fear that employers may regard returning veterans as "damaged or unstable". However, Murray makes the point that "post-traumatic stress or depression are natural responses to some of the most stressful events a person can experience," and "these illnesses do not afflict every veteran and, most importantly, we need to understand that for those who are affected by the illnesses, they can get help, they can get better and they can get back to their lives."