Veterans are keenly aware of two things: navigating the job market as a civilian is difficult and the unemployment rate for veterans is above the national average. A recent report by Governing states that Washington’s population is composed of 9% veterans, higher than the national average of 7.7%, and their unemployment rate is double the national average. To combat this, Washington governor Christine Gregoire has established a task group called the Veteran Employment Resource Group (VERG).
VERG’s mission is to provide veterans with information and counseling to direct them towards state government jobs. Bill Allman, a VERG member and former Sailor who served in Vietnam, said that “this is a two-prong approach: We want to figure out how to track returning veterans to get them information on joining state service and also determine how to help veterans who are already in the workforce but might feel left out. Right now, those vets might think they’re just lucky to have a job, but they should know that their expertise in certain areas would be highly valued by the state.”
Allman went on to say that the program reaches out to servicemembers and veterans while educating Washington state employees about veterans in the workplace. Flyers have been dispersed in military installations letting veterans know about the program and seminars discussing job advancement, benefits, and fitting an MOS with an equivalent civilian job.
To translate your military skills to a civilian job, you can also use the Military.com Skills Translator, which is also in use by the VA.