National Press Club

Newsmaker Focuses on Finding Jobs for Veterans

May 20, 2014 | By Joe Sparks |

Two veterans at the forefront of helping soldiers’ transition from the military to civilian employment discussed programs at a Club Newsmaker May 16.

Steve Gonzalez of the American Legion and Bill Brigman, a senior research analyst Solid LLC, a policy analysis company, said the Pentagon spent $874 million on unemployment insurance, not counting the Air Force, in fiscal 2011.

Stakeholders are coming together because not only do you want to increase veterans’ employment, “but also how do you increase the workforce, how do you allow for companies, how do you allow for industry to access these skilled workers who can help the economy,” Gonzalez said.

Many federal agencies are working with industry so soldiers can get civilian licenses and credentials while on active duty, which eases the transition to civilian jobs, Gonzalez said.

“What we do have is a lot soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines that have incredible expertise from their training during their time in the service,” and this expertise can fit into every community in the country, he said.