Local leaders announce job fair for El Paso veterans

KDBC
Monday, November 11, 2013 - 7:22pm

The war may be over for borderland veterans but for many the battle continues here at home. More than one in seven El Paso veterans today is unemployed.

The veteran's unemployment rate in El Paso now stands at 16%. Workforce Solutions is taking action to try and improve those numbers by hosting a job fair for veterans this Thursday.

Veteran Jamie Lee attended today’s conference and shared his experience. He faced the reality of unemployment last year after serving in the armed forces for many years.

"As a veteran when I first came back I didn't know anything you know it's a totally different world," Lee said.

Jamie searched unsuccessfully for months until he found out about Workforce Solutions. Last year this organization hosted a job fair for veterans and that's where he finally found a job.

"They have a database that's very expensive they have computer access they have people there that will help you," Lee added.

Local leaders say the goal of this event isn't just to help veterans land jobs but to encourage more companies to hire veterans.

As of today there are 3 federal tax incentives offered to companies that give opportunities to veterans ranging from 5,600 to 9,600 dollars. Congressman Beto O’Rourke says there's still much work to do locally.

"Our office is working on it we're supporting legislation that will give additional credits to employers who take a chance on a veteran but we have to do everything we can by these men and women that sacrificed so much for us," O’Rourke said.

Construction, technical and law enforcement are only some of the long list of opportunities offered at this year's fair. More than 1,500 jobs will be available.

"We’re going to have over a hundred employers all under one roof we're going to be able to provide an opportunity to job seekers especially veterans," Workforce Solutions Executive Director Lorenzo Reyes said.

Even though this fair won't fix all the problems local authorities say they will continue to assist veterans in need.

"What we try to do with as few resources as we have is insure that they know what federal, state and local services are available to them," El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar said.

The job fair will be hosted this Thursday at the El Paso County Coliseum from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To learn more about the event visit: http://www.urgjobs.com/

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