Ken Matos, Senior Director of Employment Research and Practice for Families and Work Institute, says veterans can bring unique skills to the workplace, but may require help translating their military experience into civilian terms.
Veteran unemployment remains persistently high, 10.8 percent for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That's well above the official rate of 7.8 percent.
It's a national tragedy that those who served our country now find themselves struggling to convince a manager to let them serve burgers. What can vets seeking jobs do better, and what can employers looking to hire them do to make it easier to integrate ex-military into the workplace?
Policy-makers and employers are taking notice of these troubling questions.
This week Wal-Mart announced they're projecting to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years. That news kicked off our TODAY Money live online reader chat this week with Ken Matos, Senior Director of Employment Research and Practice for Families and Work Institute, a think tank that studies and supports the workplace, including veteran employment, and offers online resources for veterans and employees.
TODAY: Why would Wal-Mart jobs be attractive to veterans? After fighting for our country, trading camo fatigues for a blue polo seems like a demotion.
MATOS: Many veterans are looking to build a civilian resume and Wal-Mart and retail can be a good place to start that process. One major issue that veterans face in this process is finding the language to describe their military experiences in civilian terms.