New Ideas Used to Combat Veteran Unemployment

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High veteran unemployment has finally given birth to new approaches for transitioning military members. One on one life coaching could prove to be a one such approach for new veterans.

Since 2011, Hiring Our Heroes has spearheaded a national initiative to unite unemployed and job seeking veterans with employers. Their preferred conduit consists of job fairs throughout the US. To this point, Hiring Our Heroes has helped connect 95,000 veterans to 8,000 jobs.

For the remaining 87,000 veterans, little opportunity exists in the current economic downturn. Veterans face unique impediments in finding jobs with spiking unemployment over 20 percent in some states. One such impediment is language. Seeking to bridge this gap, a new Minnesota-based nonprofit has attempted to make inroads.

THRIVE, standing for Tapping Hidden Resources in Veterans, stands to change the landscape. Using one on one life coaching, THRIVE picks up where Hiring Our Heroes and other veterans employment programs stop. Rather than merely connecting veterans to opportunities, THRIVE teaches veterans to understand how to relate their skills and experiences to civilian employers.

Having a resume is important, but understanding how to related your skills in language that civilians understand is vital to success. THRIVE does not stop with just teaching veterans how to relate to employers. It also steps out into the corporate community to educate employers about the value veterans uniquely bring to the table.

Not only do veterans bring immediate skills; they also bring an understanding of diversity that is unique to most regions in the country. Upon entering the military, personnel are immediately thrown into a cultural melting pot that forces integration in a way completely unique to any experience available to young leaders.

While the majority of colleges integrate regionally, military personnel come from all walks of life and from all regions of the US. From that point, and under situations of extreme stress, military members learn to function as a team to accomplish incredible feats ranging from fighting back insurgents in Afghanistan to rescuing flood victims in Africa.

The combination of incredible skill sets crossed with an immersion in the most diverse organization in the country leads to the development of some of the best future leaders in corporate America. For example, more veterans lead S&P 500 companies, relative to the population, than any other people group.

However, the transition is not straight forward, making organizations like THRIVE incredibly valuable within the communities they serve. By teaching veterans how to relate their experiences and educating employers, THRIVE breaks down barriers to civilian employment in a way that no other nonprofit has attempted.

According to founding member Kim Mitchell, “If you want to get leadership and maturity, hire a veteran. They’ll change the way you do business.” The THRIVE initiative is currently being used to help Minnesota veterans, with the hope that the initiative will spread nationally.

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Dan Gagliano
Dan Gagliano

Where can I get more info on Hiring Our Heroes and THRIVE? I live in Milwaukee, WI. Thanks!

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