As the nation prepares to honor veterans for their service, the North Carolina Department of Labor has a new system to help them find jobs.
The new NCWorks Veterans portal is online at ‘veterans.ncworks.gov.’ It offers resources, training and employment opportunities.
Veteran unemployment is at a record low of 3.1 percent across the state, compared to 3.8 percent percent for the general population. That’s still not low enough for Mark Edmonds, a retired Army veteran and the chief operating officer of the Division of Workforce Solutions, who explains the need for the portal.
“The transitioning out of the military can be difficult, just as any career change is, but for veterans, they can be a bit apprehensive about going into the civilian workforce,” says Edmonds.
He says the new portal gives veterans a direct way to connect the skills and experience gained through military service to new careers in high-demand fields. North Carolina is home to nearly 800,000 veterans and several major military bases.
The Division of Workforce Solutions provides job-seeker services not only for veterans, but for eligible spouses. The website encourages businesses to recruit employees with military experience.
Edmonds says employing veterans brings added value to the state’s economy.
“Veterans bring a lot of skills – both hard skills and soft skills – to our state and to our economy,” says Edmonds. “So, I think we need to do everything we can do to keep North Carolina veterans in North Carolina.”
Designed specifically with veterans in mind, he adds the NCWorks Veterans portal includes tabs for quick access to employment services, job fairs, education/training options, helpful tips, and other resources.
The administration hopes it will connect North Carolina employers looking to hire what it calls “proven hard workers.” Edmonds says it’s important to help bridge communication between veterans and civilian employers.
“To narrow the gap between our military and our veterans, and society as a whole, I think is a good thing,” says Edmonds. “I don’t think there should be a gap there.”
Veterans own more than 80,000 North Carolina businesses that support more than 578,000 jobs statewide, and contribute more than $34 billion in personal income to their local economies.