11/8/2019 4:00:00 PM
Veterans Employment Services Director Ray Douha
Veteran’s Day began as Armistice Day 100 years ago, on November 11, 1919, marking the first anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1938, Congress declared November 11 a national holiday, and it was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. November 11 continues to be a day for Americans to reflect on the service of all those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and honor veterans for what they have done for our country.
More than 20,000 Minnesotans currently serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. This includes active duty, National Guard, and Reserve forces. And about 327,000 veterans live in Minnesota — 153,000 of whom are of working age. Of those, 4,100 are currently unemployed. At the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), we’re focused on providing career support and services to veterans.
Here are some of the ways we serve veterans:
Twenty-four veterans employment representatives, located in CareerForce locations across Minnesota, provide outreach to returning service members. DEED veterans programs provide services, resources, and referrals to National Guard soldiers returning from various deployments. Minnesota soldiers receive services and resources during formal Beyond the Yellow Ribbon reintegration, family preparatory academy, demobilization and events held before and after being deployed. DEED’s Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) provides intensive employment services that include job-readiness assessment, job search strategy, and placement assistance to eligible veterans.
We also focus on providing services to traditionally underserved groups of veterans, including intensive employment services and small business assistance for veterans being released from correctional facilities, female veterans, and Native American veterans. Kirk Crowshoe, our American Indian Liaison, and I are working to engage and provide access to employment for veterans who are members of the Minnesota’s eleven tribes to narrow opportunity gaps. Veterans Employment Representatives participate in Homeless Registry meetings and work closely with the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP) grantee, Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV).
Many Minnesota employers recognize that veterans bring the skills, passion, and commitment they need in their workforce today. Hiring veterans is not about goodwill – it’s good business. DEED’s Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER) staff provide assistance and guidance to businesses looking to develop job opportunities for veterans and educate them on the values veterans bring to their companies. In this tight labor market, we’re focused on engaging businesses on the benefits of hiring veterans. Every summer, DEED hosts the largest veterans career fair of its kind in the state during Hire a Veteran Month. We look forward to sponsoring the 14th annual career fair in 2020 with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans served our country, and it is our honor to serve them in finding fulfilling employment and reaching their career goals. If you are a veteran, we look forward to serving you and your family.
– Ray Douha, Director, Veterans Employment Services