Finding Civilian Jobs in 2011

Lt. Col. John Haas, commander of the 1st Squadron, 153rd Cavalry Regiment, based in Tallahassee, Fla., steps off a plane at Hunter Army Airfield, after a nearly year-long deployment with the Florida National Guard's 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Iraq and Kuwait. Photo by Debra Cox

Finding a job is a top priority for military veterans transitioning to a civilian life and National Guard coming off active duty. And, recent statistics show a higher unemployment rate among veterans than the general public. There are programs for employers and incentive grants.

Job fairs specifically targeted to veterans are another approach. Later this month, RecruitMilitary, a military-to-civilian recruiting firm, has scheduled an “Opportunity Expo” for job seekers who have military backgrounds/ The veterans job fair is set at Tampa’s Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. It’s free and open to veterans who already have civilian work experience, men and women who are transitioning from active duty to civilian life, members of the National Guard and reserves, military spouses, and other military family members.

The event is scheduled Thursday, Jan. 20, beginning at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m.

Some online resources for job searches:

Vet Jobs boasts on its front page that it has more than 35,000 jobs posted, up 17.5 percent from last year.

Warrior Gateway which has a job search engine that cross references geographic info with job opening descriptions.

Military Hire offers help with resume writing and has a list of “military friendly” employers.

U.S. Department of Labor has information for veterans as well as employers including a veterans hiring toolkit for employers.

Florida Department of Veterans Affairs has grant info for disabled veterans, details on a military family employment program as well as links to state job search sites.

Florida veterans may want to keep an eye on Tallahassee where Gov.-elect Rick Scott appointed as his new chief of staff Mike Prendergast, a retired U.S. Army colonel and veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Prendergast joined the Army in 1978 and retired in 2009 as U.S. Central Command‘s provost marshal.

Gov.=elect Scott has said that jobs are his highest priority the top issue for veterans.

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