When you leave the military, the biggest question is "what's next?" It's a scary job market right now, but the skills you've received in the military make you highly marketable. The Legion sponsors dozens of veterans hiring fairs each year, and our employment experts also provide tips to writing resumes, networking and making a strong impression in the interview process.
American Legion Past National Commander William Detweiler recently met with Kathleen Martinez, the assistant secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, in New Orleans to discuss veterans unemployment, workforce development and the American Jobs Act.
And Detweiler doesn't believe the relationship between the Department of Labor (DoL) and the Legion should end with that meeting.
"We've got to get Department of Labor officials to start speaking at our department service officers school," he said. "There seems to me to be a disconnect between what DoL has to offer and our veterans out there. We need to get them (DoL) to brief our service officers, who are our first line of communication with veterans out in the field."
In addition to Detweiler and Martinez, the meeting - which took place at the National World War II Museum - was attended by Julie Catellier, director of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care Center, and Becky Mackie, vice president and finance officer of the National World War II Museum. The museum is working to set up a program to train veterans to digitize the museum collection and other records.
Also attending were Bill Ryan, a disabled Vietnam veteran who is the president of several companies that employ veterans and train veterans for employment; Marshall Hevron, a Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who has worked for Sen. Mary Landrieu and currently working to initiate veterans workforce programs; and Byron Forrest, a Marine Corps veteran who is in his second year of law school while working to assist veterans with employment.
"It was productive," Detweiler said of his meeting with Martinez. "(Martinez) was very vibrant and very enthusiastic. Her mission is trying to get her department's information to veterans ... so they can take advantage of it."
For information on DoL veterans programs, click here.