COLUMBIA, SC – May 6, 2008 – South Carolina will welcome back almost 2,000 National Guard members by the end of the summer, but S.C. veterans may find the job market less than inviting due to minimal job security or transitional training. Jobless rates for veterans ages 20 to 24 reached 15.6 percent in 2006 — more than three times the national unemployment rate of 5.1 percent — according to USA Today.
“I believe that every soldier who fights for America deserves to come back and have a job waiting,” said Ken Carey, a former Marine and owner of Midlands-based bilingual staffing agency Agil Staff.
These statistics hit close to home, with the Veterans’ Association estimating that 1,000 homeless veterans currently reside in the Midlands. Agil Staff and Fast Forward Community Technology Center are working to reverse this devastating trend through Homefront Readiness, a program that provides job preparation and transitional assistance for veterans and their spouses.
Homefront Readiness posts weekly webcasts led by program director Becca Smith, along with area employment experts and veteran transition professionals. Sessions like “Federal Job Applications” and “Transitioning from the Military Into Civilian Employment” address issues specific to veterans, but the webcasts also offer topics applicable to any job seeker. Most recently, Rosemary Reilman, marketing specialist with www.Employmentguide.com and Agil Staff owner Ken Carey joined Smith in a series including “Resume Tips, “Cover Letter Tips, “Making the Most of a Job Fair, “The Interview, “Networking 101” and “Soft Skills 101.”
When Smith enlisted Agil Staff’s partcipation in the Homefront Readiness program, Carey was immediately on board. As a son of a veteran and a veteran himself, Carey knows both the frustrations veterans find in the job market and the concerns of their potential employers. He takes great pride in helping employers hire veterans like Angel Miranda, who served 20 years in the U.S. Army. Placing him at Hines Furniture in 2006, Agil Staff helped Miranda use his military discipline and bilingual skills to sell furniture.
“It’s very important for veterans to feel like they have resources and options when they get out of the service,” said Miranda. “I think Homefront Readiness will really help a lot of soldiers.”
Homefront Readiness seeks to continue success stories like Miranda’s, replacing the threat of homelessness with the promise of job security for those who have served our country.
To access and download Homefront Readiness webcasts, visit www.fastforwardctc.com and click on Webcasts.
To learn more about Agil Staff, contact Ken Carey at 803-771-4289 or [email protected].
For more information on Fast Forward, contact Dee Albritton at 803-343-2577 or [email protected].