GREENSBURG – A special presentation hosted by the Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce brought to light the issues of veterans’ employment and agriculture safety Thursday afternoon.
Work One Southeast Local Veterans Employment Representatives ((LVER) Mike Thompson and Indiana Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner Tim Maley spoke to a large group of local business representatives and city officials about, respectively, the advantages of bringing veterans into the workforce, and how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) works at the state level.
Thompson, an Army veteran who served as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant gave his audience a look at the complicated inner-workings of his current job as an LVER while championing the cause of bringing those who served into the workplace.
“Consider a veteran,” Thompson said. “They really are a good, key component to your workforce.”
To that end, Thompson emphasized the convergence of military service with key attributes desired by employers: knowledge, skills and personal ability.
Thompson’s job is to ensure veterans receive a fair chance at employment, and he spoke of six factors that often prevent this. Some of these factors include disability, low income and lack of a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Through the coordination of counseling services and training programs, Thompson and others like him, seek to boost the presence of veterans in the workforce.
The statistics appear to clearly showcase the need for veteran employment assistance.
Thompson said more than 21 million veterans have returned or will soon return home from deployment and/or combat situations. Of that group, approximately 417,000 will find themselves facing employment barriers.
In order to knock down as many of those employment obstacles as possible, LVERs and members of the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) focus on the many positives men and women who have served in the armed forces bring to the proverbial table.