FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, May 2, 2011
Colorado Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)
DENVER (5/2/2011) – An unprecedented job expo to be held at the Jefferson County Fair Grounds May 23-25 is aiming to combat the steadily increasing unemployment rate among veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserve.
“Veterans play a central role in our communities beyond their service to our country,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at an April 25 press conference to proclaim May 23-27, 2011, as Colorado Military and Veterans Employment Expo Week. “For us not to make sure they get into the work force is not only immoral given their sacrifices, it’s also a loss to the state.”
The Colorado Military and Veterans Employment Expo is more than a job fair, said Colorado Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve chair, retired Rear Adm. Richard Young. “A job fair in and of itself may or may not work,” he said, “but what we’re trying to do is prepare the military person for jobs. For many of them, this is going to be their first time interviewing for a civilian job.”
On May 23 and 24, the Expo will include workshops on resume writing for the private and federal sectors, preparing for interviews, how to make positive first impressions, and effective networking and job search skills.
One-on-one mentoring will also be available.
May 25 will feature a job fair open to all military personnel and veterans.
The Colorado ESGR teamed up with the Colorado Department of Labor, the Colorado National Guard, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment Service in Colorado, and the Jefferson County Workforce Center, as well as numerous other governmental and non-governmental organizations, to organize and plan the event.
The State of Colorado Proclamation signed and presented by Hickenlooper recognizes National Guard members, Reservists, military personnel and veterans who have served, and are serving our nation, our state, and our communities. It also recognizes the skills, education, leadership and dedication they have learned in the military service.
“They have a work ethic,” the Governor stressed. “They have a commitment to organizational structure. They have training, personal drive.”
Despite their valuable experience, work ethic and training, veterans face unemployment rates significantly higher than the national average of 9.5 percent. According to recent Department of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate in 2010 was 21.9 percent for veterans 18-24 years of age. Among all Iraq-Afghanistan era veterans, the unemployment rate at the beginning of 2011 was 13.5 percent.
Colorado is home to more than 12,000 National Guard members and Reservists and 425,000 veterans.
Military and veteran job seekers, employers and volunteers can register at http://www.mvee.org. The web site includes a seminar schedule. Those who receive a Certificate of Participation from the May 23 or 24 workshops will have first access to the job fair May 25 from 9 to 11 a.m. The job fair will be open to all military and veteran job seekers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.