The American Legion annually honors companies and businesses that employ those who have served their country. Each year, the National Economic Awards are presented to employers who hire veterans, disabled veterans and older workers. Among those categories is one that recognizes those who help veterans find work: the Employment Service Local Office of the Year Award, which honors an employment office for exemplary efforts in helping veterans find jobs and workplace training.
The Cumberland County JobLink Center in Fayetteville, N.C., has been named by the National Economic Commission as this year's recipient of the Employment Service Local Office of the Year Award. In 2009, the Cumberland County JobLink Center provided its employment resource services to 11,213 veterans - 2,663 of whom were disabled. The center assisted them with job searches, finding employment training, filing for unemployment insurance and other related services.
The veterans employment section of the center is composed of seven representatives. An additional four representatives are employed at a Fort Bragg office, where services are provided to current and separating personnel who are looking to transition from the military to civilian careers. Around 4,350 separating servicemembers attended JobLink-sponsored workshops at Fort Bragg last year.
Staff at the center - some of whom are volunteers - are active in the community and veterans-assistance efforts. The Cumberland County JobLink Center helps spearhead the annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down, providing job information and referrals to local veterans and military personnel. Staff members also march as a unit in the annual Fayetteville Veterans Day Parade, participate in homeless veterans outreach initiatives and visit patients at local VA hospitals.
Additionally, the center is an active employer of veterans. A reported 88 percent of the workforce is former military, and veterans make up 90 percent of the management team.
"On behalf of the Cumberland County JobLink Career Center and the Employment Security Commission, it gives us great pleasure to receive such a prestigious award," JobLink Center Manager Glenn C. McQueen said. "I want to thank the staff and the men and women in uniform for what they do. Special thanks to The American Legion for what they do for veterans and for the recognition bestowed on the agency. It is truly an honor that our agency was selected, and we will continue to provide quality service to all veterans that come to our facility. Again, thanks to The American Legion for such an award with high regard."