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Hire a veteran today!

Larry Clifton

As the national unemployment rate continues to hover around 9 percent, times remain tough for those seeking work. For veterans, the job search is much harder. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the unemployment rate for veterans who served in the military at any time since September 2001 -- a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans -- was 11.5 percent in 2010.

Finding a job is even more difficult for disabled veterans. According to the Current Population Survey that took a look at the employment situation of veterans in 2010, about 25 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans reported having a service-connected disability in July 2010. Young veterans (those ages 18 to 24) who served during Gulf War era II had an unemployment rate of 21.9 percent in 2010, not statistically different from the jobless rate of young non-veterans (19.7 percent).

In an effort to address the national challenge of wounded veterans returning home without work, CACI International Inc. in 2007 launched Deploying Talent, Creating Careers, a program dedicated to employing disabled veterans within the company. In the past four years, CACI has hired more than 550 disabled former military personnel for work at all levels -- entry to senior.

Unfortunately, misconceptions about the returning, injured veteran abound, and many potential employers shy away from hiring them. Some worry that veterans are mentally unstable. Others don’t believe that military experience has real-world application. And still other employers scoff at those who served in the armed forces because they perceive them as just young kids playing games. For instance, in a segment on high unemployment among veterans, CNN reporter Anderson Cooper said a former Marine told him potential employers looked at his time in the military as “taking a few years off.”

Still, tremendous headway has been made in recent years and the country as a whole has come a long way since Vietnam in supporting our veterans. At CACI, we work with all types of organizations dedicated to helping disabled veterans transition into corporate America. We work with those who depart the military, providing on-the-job internships and training for men and women who want to continue to learn and advance their career.

We assist them with resume writing and provide them interview training. In the past few years, more and more companies have begun to see what CACI has witnessed first-hand: veterans have valuable skills and expertise that translate well into civilian jobs. Their strong ethics and sense of honor and duty -- honed by their time in the armed forces – are great assets to our nation. Many of these veterans have worked in difficult, dangerous conditions and did their jobs with absolute integrity, while providing a vital service to our country's national security. 

Bottom line is our veterans have made enormous sacrifices for our great nation, so Corporate America, stand-up and do your part. Hire a veteran today!

Larry Clifton is senior vice president of recruiting and workforce planning for CACI International. He can be reached at:

[email protected]




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