NH champions fight against veteran unemployment

New Hampshire has a very low unemployment rate – currently 2.7 percent, according to New Hampshire Employment Security’s most recent unemployment statistics report on June 23.

That’s below the national rate of 4.7 percent.

The rate for New Hampshire veterans, however, is higher – more than 5 percent, according to an NHES "Veterans in New Hampshire 2015" report. More than 7,500 of New Hampshire’s approximately 115,000 veterans have been deployed to the Middle East since 9/11. Many of these post-9/11 veterans had multiple deployments and sustained injuries. Some experience chronic unemployment and underemployment. There were 165 New Hampshire veterans served by Easter Seals New Hampshire Military & Veterans Services in the last year who needed help to secure gainful employment.

New Hampshire Employment Security Economic & Labor Market Information projections indicate that over the next 10 years, employment is expected to increase 10.3 percent, with increases in every sector except manufacturing and utilities. Many growing sectors where transferrable military skills can be leveraged will provide entry-level and growth opportunities. New Hampshire presents a job-seeker’s labor market, but also some barriers to employment for our veterans.

New Hampshire Employment Security provides priority of services employment assistance to veterans, including job search assistance and job referral, resume assistance, labor market information and career guidance. It networks with other veterans supportive agencies to amplify services for veterans.

One of those agencies is Easter Seals New Hampshire Military & Veterans Services. ESNH MVS was recently awarded the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program grant. ESNH MVS has helped 799 clients obtain employment since its inception in 2006. It is now partnering with NHES and other employment-focused services to prepare New Hampshire’s veterans for civilian employment and to engage industry and employers to hire New Hampshire veterans as part of their vibrant workforce.

HVRP will engage an underserved and undercounted veteran population and help them to achieve career goals, self-sufficiency and improved quality of life while strengthening New Hampshire communities and economy.

Why hire vets? When looking for hard-working, motivated employees, hiring veterans is not only a good idea, it’s good business.

Here are 10 reasons to hire veterans:

Accelerated learning curve. Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts and can enter the workforce with proven transferable skills.

Leadership. Veterans are trained to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation, and inspiration. They are accustomed to making decisions and taking responsibility for meeting objectives.

Teamwork. Veterans understand how teamwork comes from a responsibility to one’s colleagues and from groups coming together to achieve goals.

Appreciation of diversity. Veterans have learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of diverse race, gender, ethnicity, religion and economic status, as well as mental and physical capabilities.

Performance under pressure. Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources, and know how to accomplish priorities on time and how to remain calm in spite of tremendous stress.

Respect for procedures. Veterans have a clear perspective on the value of accountability, grasp their place within an organizational framework, and know how policies and procedures enable an organization to thrive.

Global perspective. Veterans bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy that all organizations need to succeed.

Integrity. Veterans know what it means to do "an honest day’s work" and have a track record of integrity, self-respect and sense of honor, which translates into trustworthiness and an "on-time, all the time" appreciation that every second counts.

Conscientiousness. Veterans are aware of health and safety protocols both for themselves and the welfare of others. They are committed to maintaining personal health and fitness. Their awareness translates into protection of employees, property and materials.

"Can Do" attitude. Veterans have frequently demonstrated resilience and triumphed over great adversity. They have proven their mettle in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina and flexibility.

ESNH MVS provides services to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families, including suicide prevention, employment, housing and homelessness, substance abuse treatment, transportation, and treatment for PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Veterans Count, the philanthropic program of ESNH MVS, provides emergency financial assistance to this population for critical and unmet needs. Veterans Count raises awareness about the challenges that can result from military service and raises money to help address these needs.

For more information or to make a donation, visit vetscount.org. If you know a service member, veteran or military family in need, contact Chrystn Pitt, Easter Seals New Hampshire Military & Veterans Services, at 315-4354.