New Incentives, Help for Veterans to Find Work
By Nadia Crow, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- President Obama and Congressman Bruce Braley praising a new bill signed into law Monday morning offering help to veterans out of work. The bill gives companies $2,400 to $5,600 dollars in tax incentives for each unemployed veteran they hire. That goes up to $9,600 for each unemployed disabled veteran hired.
Those advocating for veterans affairs say this bill is so important to offer companies those incentives to hire returning veterans. But supporters say it has to be a joint effort by hiring managers and vets to decrease the unemployment rate.
“You’re going from digging up bombs to selling cars? Interesting,” said Iowa National Guard soldier Ryan Lett.
That’s the transition Iowa National Guard soldier Ryan Lett made three months after coming home from Afghanistan. But for many of his fellow guardsmen, it hasn’t been so easy.
“A lot of the guys in my company are from Southeast Iowa so when you live in small towns…Cedar Rapids probably a little bit better because there’s a lot of room for employment,” said Lett.
600 Iowa National Guard soldiers or 17% of those who returned from Afghanistan this summer are still unemployed.
“It’s several percentage points higher than it is for the general population,” said Joe Stutler from Linn County Veteran Affairs.
So Joe Stutler from Linn County Veteran Affairs applauds a new bill offering companies incentives to hire veterans.
“Anything we can do is still not enough, we need to be doing more,” said Stutler.
Like answering tough questions.
“How do you translate what a military skill set it to a civilian skill set?” asked Alliant Energy Senior Technical Trainer Steve Turriff.
Alliant Energy’s Steve Turriff spearheads an effort to get vets like him jobs that fit their backgrounds by using this chart on the company’s website.
“If there’s an X in the box that would be one of the jobs at Alliant Energy that your current military classification coincides with Alliant Energy,” said Turriff.
For veterans it’s a job, for the company it’s combating an aging workforce.
“We realize a lot of the returning military have an electrical background,” said Turriff.
Regardless of training, Lett says veterans make the ideal employee.
“Think on their feet, make quick decisions decisively,” said Lett.
At the Linn County Veteran Affairs office, vets can stop in and get help finding jobs. Congressman Bruce Braley says he’s working on more bills to make the transition from the military to civilian life easier for veterans.
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