What Conversation Are We Missing With Veterans?



According to the latest stats by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the unemployment rate among post 9/11 veterans is averaged at almost 10%. The overall number for unemployment for all veterans isn't that much better at 6.9%. Both numbers paint a dismal picture if you’re about to leave the military world and transition to civilian life.

According to the collective wisdom, some of which comes from articles posted this week in TIME Magazine, the Washington Post, and CNN, top contributing factors to these high statistics are the increased number of veterans who have disabilities upon returning from war, bureaucratic stickiness, lack of civilian work experience, and the generational divide. The average unemployment rate among 18-24 year old veterans in 2012 was 20.4%. That's 5% higher than non-military individuals in the same demographic.

While I don't underestimate the complexity of an issue like this, I have to wonder: What conversations are missing for this to be our result? What are we pretending not to know? And what is the state of the relationship between veterans and private business, given these numbers?

A piece of the puzzle that is needed is training for vets so they can communicate effectively in the private sector. Fierce CEO and President, Halley Bock, contributed to an article in the Seattle PI titled, CEO Provides Insight into Securing a Job. In this piece she provides easy to apply tips that veterans can use right away in order to understand what communication skills are needed in private business.

I don't pretend to know all the answers, and I'm not a veteran, so I'd love to hear your thoughts. Share if you’re a vet, someone who employs vets, or has insight: What conversations are we not having? Why do you think this number is so high? What can private business do to bring the number down?

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