Traditionally, veterans are one of the largest demographics that encounter frequent and long-term employment issues. Instead of leaving this segment to collect federal unemployment benefits, the state of Virginia is taking action to improve its hiring process and training programs.

Overall, the goal is to connect out-of-work veterans with Virginia-based employers. These businesses might be dealing with high unemployment insurance costs and a lack of quality staff members, so these added measures could be extremely beneficial in terms of expense management and reducing the turnover rate. At the moment, Virginia’s jobless rate has been trending in a positive direction. Any additional assistance would further the goal of a strong economy and a hearty workforce.

Unemployment rate declines
According to the Virginia Employment Commission, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percent in January to a level of only 5 percent. That represents the sixth consecutive month of declines, and reaches the lowest point since November 2008’s 4.9 percent.

In addition, Virginia’s employment sectors experienced both increases and decreases in the number of available jobs. The trade and transportation industry lost 6,700 jobs from December to January, the largest during that time. However, the private education and health services industry ballooned to 509,300 jobs, the most significant gain over that period.

Ann Lang, senior economist for the Virginia Employment Commission, told the Virginia-based Richmond Times-Dispatch that winter weather may have contributed to some of the negative statistics reported in this release.

New program would address unemployment issues
To further improve Virginia’s positive employment trends, two state agencies have teamed up to help jobless veterans find viable opportunities and receive critical job training, according to The Associated Press.

Called the Virginia Values Veterans Program, it would include workforce assessment measures, job training and certification for the region, the media outlet noted. It will be implemented by the Virginia Employment Commission, in conjunction with the state’s Department of Veterans Services. There is also expected to be additional curriculum development, consulting and outreach support in the near future.

Paul Galanti, Veterans Services Commissioner, told The AP that the goal of the program is to guarantee ideal resources for employers to recruit, hire, train and retrain veterans.

In the past, these funds may have had to come from the companies themselves, possibly leading some to forgo more creative hiring and recruitment strategies. Hopefully, any new programs in Virginia would alleviate employers’ concerns as well as financial burdens, and allow them to pursue qualified job candidates.


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