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Veterans Day

10/30/2017 10:09:32 AM

Tim O'Neill

On Saturday, November 11, Veterans Day will be observed by Americans to celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans.  As an appreciation to those who have served or are currently serving, this month's Local Look blog post will focus on veterans.

Veterans in the Labor Market

The labor market has shifted, rolled, and changed dramatically within the past six years. For veterans looking for work, this has meant a lot of challenges and opportunities, which are reflected in the numbers. In 2010, during the nadir of the Great Recession, the unemployment rate for veterans in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) spiked at 10.2 percent. This was higher than the overall unemployment rate for nonveterans during that time, at 8.4 percent. As of 2016, however, the unemployment rate for veterans in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA had plunged to 2.7 percent, whereas the overall unemployment rate for nonveterans was 3.5 percent (Table 1).

Employment Status of Veterans 2010 - 2016

While the tight labor market is providing new opportunities for veterans, there are still challenges. Some of these challenges include helping out women vets, Native American vets, and vets coming out of correctional facilities. Efforts are also being made to help out older vets with finding new work. According to Jim Finley, director of the Veterans Employment Programs with the State of Minnesota at DEED, the solution for many of these challenges is training.

"A big focus of ours lately has been apprenticeships and OJTs [on-the-job training] because it's an opportunity for veterans to not only use that great array of soft skills that they picked up in the military but also to learn new job-specific skills that will get them those family-sustaining wage jobs," said Finley in a recent article in Twin Cities Business. It should also be noted that apprenticeships cover a wide range of occupations now, not just the building trades. The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is leading the charge with apprenticeships for veterans in the state. For more information on veterans finding jobs in Minnesota, check out Veterans' Battle at Home, also from Twin Cities Business.

Hiring Veterans in the Twin Cities

DEED has employment services specifically targeted at veterans, with the aim of connecting employers searching for quality candidates and veterans searching for life-sustaining career opportunities. Here are three easy steps employers can follow to successfully hire veterans:

  1. Post your job openings on
  2. Contact a Veterans Employment Representative, available at WorkForce Centers throughout the metro.
  3. Connect with your local Yellow Ribbon network.

Within this tight labor market that the Twin Cities region is experiencing, not only is it beneficial to reach out to veterans looking for work opportunities to fill vacancies, but veterans have the experience, training, and work ethic that employers will appreciate.  Why hire a veteran?  Leadership, teamwork, efficient under pressure, respect for procedures, integrity, and the list goes on. Find out more about hiring veterans.

Employment Resources for Veterans

Where employers have three easy steps for discovering and hiring veterans, veterans have three easy steps for discovering and securing work in the Twin Cities:

  1. Contact a Veterans Employment Representative:  while working with employers, these representatives also work one-on-one with veterans to provide custom-tailored services.
  2. Explore career options with My Next Move for Veterans or with CareerOneStop.
  3. Post your resume on

Beyond these resources, veterans seeking employment should also visit DEED's main page for veterans' employment services. From this webpage, veterans can find information on upcoming career fairs, select employer hiring events, job club networking, job transition meetings, and more.

Upcoming Events

A meet-and-greet for veterans is coming up at the Bloomington WorkForce Center at 9-11 a.m., Tues., Nov. 7. Veterans can learn about getting a job with the federal government. Find out more here.

Check out other opportunities here.

For More Information

Contact Tim O'Neill at 651-259-7401.

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