Workforce solutions holds veterans fair - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Workforce solutions holds veterans fair

Veterans returning to the workforce was the focus of a state-wide veterans job fair. The event was called "Hiring Red, White and You," an initiative Texas Workforce Solutions hopes will put returning veterans to work.

"We're back so we 'we've got to keep going, that's just the attitude is we got to keep going," says Iraq war veteran Meshell Horton.

They meet potential employers, and get a chance at new training.

"This job fair gives us the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to society. Training programs and the schools available to us," says Vietnam veteran Winfred Randall.

For the veterans its a familiar scenario. They have fought a war they have come home and now they re-enter a work force that has changed. As veterans return , they compete for jobs with an already skilled workforce. Many Vietnam veterans came back and struggled to re-enter the work force.

"A lot of the jobs we did in service especially in my era you didn't have any specialties like you do today," Randall says.

"The guys coming back now are being greeted with open arms, back then during Vietnam, it was completely different," says Workforce worker Greg Adams.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the national unemployment rate for all veterans is 6.7 percent. But 9.7 percent for post 9-11 veterans.

"Re-entering the workforce I needed to pick up skills and possibly go back to college," Horton says.

The least some say we can do for their service to country.

"We owe it to them. This guy or gal went to preserve the freedom, to preserve the liberties we enjoy," Adams says.

According to state records , there are an estimated 922,000 veterans in Texas.

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