Today, Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed July to be “Hire a Veteran Month.” Throughout the month, the Governor is encouraging Minnesota employers to hire veterans, connect military service members with job opportunities, and consider rededicating their efforts to hiring veterans in all twelve months of the year.
Minnesota has already made great efforts to help veterans find work and utilize their skills after they leave the military. Many of our businesses already know that veterans make great employees because of their education, leadership, maturity, and dedication.
Later this month, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will be holding a job fair to help connect veterans and employers. More than 1,000 former and current military members and approximately 100 Minnesota businesses with job opportunities are expected to participate.
Throughout his term, Governor Dayton’s administration has worked to help Minnesota veterans find meaningful, good-paying jobs. Last year, for example, Minnesota worked closely with members of the Minnesota National Guard Red Bulls Infantry Division to ensure they all had employment when they returned from Kuwait. These coordinated efforts between DEED and the Minnesota National Guard helped lower the unemployment rate among our returning soldiers from 22 percent to 1.3 percent!
Minnesota also has a number of other programs to help current service members, military reservists, and veterans. One great initiative is the Veteran Business Loan Program which provides loans to veterans who want to start their own business. The program has already helped 6,000 returning veterans start businesses, which isn’t only great for Minnesota veterans, but also our state’s economy.