Duluth Companies Making Veteran Employment a Priority

Posted at: 01/08/2013 4:46 PM
Updated at: 01/08/2013 10:46 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

In our recovering economy, many people are looking for work, but veterans sometimes face even bigger hurdles during their job search. Many veterans have a hard time explaining their skill sets on a resume and employers may have difficulty understanding an employment application full of military jargon.

There are several different resources in the Northland for employers and veterans looking to bridge the gap between the workforce and the armed forces.

In Duluth this Friday, a working seminar called Leaders in Veteran Employment will give companies tips on how to hire veterans. It will also identify some of the challenges commonly associated with veteran employment.

One business that will be there is the Jamar Company. It's a specialty contracting company in Duluth that makes hiring veterans a priority.

"They've been off fighting for our freedom doing what they can for our country," Jamar's Human Resources Manager Cindy Luoma said. "We need to be sure to be there for them when they get back home."

Luoma said there are great advantages to employing veterans, but many companies fear their worker will get deployed or have post-traumatic stress. Luoma said positive factors outweigh that.

"They really bring a lot of discipline and drive to the workforce," Luoma said.

One of the veterans she recently hired was Tim Anderson. He is with the army reserve and initially, he had a hard time finding work.

"The job search was pretty painful," Anderson said.

He found help at the Minnesota Workforce Center where Ben Vanderscheuren, a Veteran Employment Representative, helped him turn his military resume into something employers could understand.

"He told me about interviewing skills," Anderson said "How to network and how to apply."

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development teamed up with a few other agencies to put on the working seminar Friday. The Leaders in Veteran Employment workshop will take place in the Mitchell Auditorium at the College of Saint Scholastic from 8 a.m. to noon.

Employers are encouraged to come and learn more about veteran employment. Companies can register by contacting Rhonda Rutford at the Minnesota Workforce Center in Duluth or the Chamber of Commerce.