Local Veterans Representative Helps Young Veterans Find Jobs

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Young veterans who served in the years after the September 11 attacks aren't having an easy time finding work.

That's according to the Hiring our Heroes program through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

A Veterans Employment Representative with the Virginia Employment Commission said that he posted about 15 new jobs on Tuesday and Cargill employees came by to recruit as well.

Christopher Walker said there are opportunities and it's his job to help veterans market themselves for those positions.

The unemployment rate for young veterans exceeded 20 % last year.

Walker said one issue is that many companies now require advanced degrees, instead of on the job training.

Walker recommends that veterans use their GI bill and go back to school if they qualify. The Employment Commission also offers one on one counseling and classes for resume writing.

Walker said veterans are valuable and that some companies struggle to see that.

"Translating your skillset into terms that an employer can understand. Typically veterans find that to be one of the most difficult challenges is translating those skills for the employers. The skills that they learned in the military are incredibly valuable, some of the best training you can ever receive," Walker said.

If you don't qualify for the GI Bill, there is also the VRAP program, which stands for Veterans Retraining Assistance Program.

Walker encourages employers to reach out to him because he sends job referrals out every week.

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