On Friday, the Tipton County Veterans Services Office will be hosting a job fair geared toward veterans in need of employment.
Now in its fourth year, the event will feature more than six dozen vendors and organizations currently hiring former military personnel.
Though the unemployment rate for veterans is statistically lower than that of their non-veteran counterparts – 8.7 percent compared to 9.4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – the military-to-civilian transition can still leave a large number of veterans jobless.
Other demographics – such as living in a rural area, being older than most people first entering the civilian workforce and having a specialized, but not mainstream, skill set – contribute to veterans’ unemployment.
“Sometimes they’re not able to find jobs when they come back for various reasons,” said Randal Martin, a volunteer with the organization and commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ ninth district. “Maybe it’s because they don’t have the contacts they need or because they may not even know there are jobs out there that match what they did in the service.”
Martin said another mission of the event is to allow veterans to speak with service providers, like the Veterans Administration, if they need assistance.
“This is for any veteran, whether they’re looking for a job or just want assistance on something else,” he said.
The job fair will take place at the River of Life Assembly of God Church gymnasium on Friday, March 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission and lunch – there will be hot dogs and chili, Martin said – are both free. The church is located at 220 Beaver Road in Munford.