Veterans Employment Event Held in Duluth

Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon addesses Northeastern Minnesota employers during a veteran employment seminar held at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. on Jan 11, 2013.  The seminar was held to discuss barriers and possible solutions to hiring and retaining veterans.  (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka/Released)

Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon addesses Northeastern Minnesota employers during a veteran employment seminar held at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. on Jan 11, 2013. The seminar was held to discuss barriers and possible solutions to hiring and retaining veterans. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka/Released)

Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon addesses Northeastern Minnesota employers during a veteran employment seminar held at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. on Jan 11, 2013.  The seminar was held to discuss barriers and possible solutions to hiring and retaining veterans.  (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka/Released)

Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon addesses Northeastern Minnesota employers during a veteran employment seminar held at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. on Jan 11, 2013. The seminar was held to discuss barriers and possible solutions to hiring and retaining veterans. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka/Released)

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar addesses Northeastern Minnesota employers during a veteran employment seminar held at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. on Jan 11, 2013.  The seminar was held to discuss barriers and possible solutions to hiring and retaining veterans.  (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka/Released)

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar addesses Northeastern Minnesota employers during a veteran employment seminar held at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. on Jan 11, 2013. The seminar was held to discuss barriers and possible solutions to hiring and retaining veterans. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka/Released)

Duluth, Minn. -- Representatives from 40 local area businesses gathered with staff from the Department of Military Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Minnesota Workforce Center, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Minnesota National Guard to discuss hiring veterans.

Since September 11th, 2001, 41,000 Minnesota veterans have supported Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM according to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. Currently veterans in Minnesota have an 8% unemployment rate which is higher than the state average 5.7% unemployment rate according to Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development's November 2012 statistics.

Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon opened the Veterans Employment Event held at the College of Saint Scholastica on Friday, January 11th, 2013. The Lieutenant Governor stated she and Governor Dayton "believe hiring veterans is one of the best investments employers can make and that Minnesota strives to be the most military and veteran friendly state in the union".

Attendees of the Veterans Employment event met in small groups to discuss the challenges preventing them from hiring veterans. The most common challenges included:

1.  Skills translation: Employers don't always understand how military  technical training and leadership training transfers to the civilian community.
2.  Military Jargon: Employers cannot understand the military jargon used by veterans during interviews and how it translates to the job they are applying for.
3.  Access to veterans: Employers have difficulty reaching out to veterans and credible veterans organizations.

Employers were advised by the Director of Women Veteran and Employment Initiatives, from the Department of Military Affairs, Lt. Col. Lori O'Reilly (retired) to post jobs to www.minnesotaworks.net and to contact local area Minnesota Veterans Employment Representatives located in the Minnesota Workforce Center. Likewise, veterans were encouraged to contact their Minnesota Veterans Employment Representative and post their resume to www.minnesotaworks.net.

Senator Amy Klobuchar wrapped up the Veterans Employment Event stating that "American veterans know what it means to stand up for something larger than themselves" and "they make terrific employees".

Additional information for employers and veterans can be found at
www.positivelyminnesota.com/veterans