More National Guard Troops Finding Work

Posted at: 01/03/2013 10:43 PM
Updated at: 01/03/2013 10:47 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's one of the biggest issues for returning veterans, finding a job. However, today we're learning good news.

The Minnesota National Guard says most of the 2,700 soldiers from the Red Bull division, have found work. We've learned that of the more than 500 who returned without jobs, only 35 are still looking for work.

"When I got home, I found out I didn't have a job ," said Iraq War Veteran Scott Metcalf. He was like so many others, returning home to find out, he had to start all over.

He turned to the Minnesota Department of Employment and wound up helping others just like him. "For me, to be able to work for them now, it's just a blessing because I know when these troops come back, I know what they're going through. I know what they've been through," said Metcalf.
He's now working specifically to help veterans find work, a resource that some say, wasn't always this available. "Vets coming back now get a lot more support from the people and from the government, which is good. We didn't get a lot of that," said Vietnam Veteran Larry Schmoll.

"If they do have trouble, at least they can talk to somebody who knows their situation," said Paul Martin, Director of the American Legion Riders in Rochester.

Helping them when they get home, and even overseas. Like in March, when a group went to Kuwait to help soldiers there with things like resume building. "They were able to help them so when they get back to the time of unemployment, the time to reintegrate with family, and the time to get a job, it’s a lot less. You figure out the cost and we've probably saved millions of dollars," said Metcalf.

Some are also thanking new laws for helping vets get back on their feet. "Our Vet Skills to Job Act was signed into law by the president allowing them to come back and be certified with Federal certification on certain jobs, and just recently the Hire Act, which does it at the state level,” said Democratic Rep. Tim Walz.

"The numbers are correct, we have done really well," said Metcalf. However, he did say that these numbers don't necessarily mean they all have jobs. These are just the Red Bull vets that were "looking" for work.  For example, some may have chosen to go to school instead.