Veterans Finding Careers at Job Fair in Brooklyn Center

Updated: 07/17/2013 6:23 AM By: Leslie Dyste

Minnesota's jobless rate is one of the best in the country at 5.3 percent. It's several points lower than the national rate.

For veterans who have left the military in the past few years, the unemployment rate is a bit higher.

But, for Minnesota's National Guard Red Bull unit, the unemployment rate is down dramatically due to an employment program.

Josh Goudge works in operations for Republic Services, a recycling and waste service company. He recruited job applicants Tuesday at a Veterans Career Fair in Brooklyn Center sponsored by the State of Minnesota.

One year ago, Goudge was an unemployed Minnesota National Guard Red Bull just back from Kuwait. He is part of a remarkable success story for the Red Bulls.

When they returned to Minnesota in the spring of 2012, 28 percent of them indicated they were unemployed. Now, only 1.3 percent of them are unemployed.

Many businesses worked with the Department of Employment and Economic Development even before the Red Bulls returned.

When Goudge showed up at the fair a year ago looking for a job, he made an immediate positive impression at Republic Services.

Republic Services has ten jobs open they might be able to fill with applicants they met Tuesday.

The state lined up more than 130 businesses for their seventh annual veteran jobs fair, the biggest turnout yet.