There is substantial evidence that some veterans, especially younger veterans are having a hard time finding employment. On October 14, 2012, the Wall Street Journal published a story indicating citing U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data that the unemployment rate for veterans who have served on active duty since the 9/11 attacks was 9.7 percent as of last September, down from 11.7 percent a year earlier. While that certainly is good news, that rate is still well above the 7.4 percentage of civilian unemployment.
In Missouri, the Show-Me Heroes program looks to lower the veteran unemployment rate even further. Launched by Governor Jay Nixon in January 2010, the initiative is designed to connect military veterans with job opportunities when they return home from service. Missouri’s Department of Workforce Development is administering the program, which seeks to connect Missouri’s veterans with employers who are eager to hire veterans. Currently, more than 2,400 Missouri businesses have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge, which led to the hiring of nearly 1,800 veterans.
In July 2012, Governor Nixon signed House Bill 1680, which strengthens and expands the Show-Me Heroes program. The bill adds an On-the-Job (OJT) training component for returning National Guard, Reservists and recently-separated active-duty service members whom Show-Me Heroes employers agree to hire. Through the OJT component, the state will reimburse 50 percent of the participant’s wages during a contracted training period.
If you are a Missourian who has served our country and needs help getting a job, the Show-Me Heroes program is a great resource. I encourage you to visit the program web site at ShowMeHeroes.mo.gov and begin taking advantage of this great program for Missouri veterans or visit the Slate Missouri Career Center to talk to a counselor. If you are a SLU student, I also encourage you to take full advantage of SLU’s Career Services offered through the Student Success Center.
Program Director for Military Outreach
Saint Louis University
One Grand Boulevard
DuBorg Hall Room 156
St. Louis, Mo 63103