Updated: March 14, 2013 6:28AM
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Career Council pushed as a bipartisan effort in the General Assembly to help connect unemployed citizens with vacant job positions will have an added emphasis on unemployed veterans.
A recent amendment to House Bill 1002, authored by House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, will focus on the future jobs council seeking input from military and veterans organizations, and looking for ways to coordinate training throughout the state’s job programs for returning members of the armed forces.
Capt. Catalina Carrasco, the Indiana National Guard program manager for employment coordination, said veterans, although qualified to fill many positions, lack a few features that would help them land a job in civilian life. Many enlisted members lack a secondary degree employers are looking for, and businesses don’t understand how military training can benefit their company.
“Often employers don’t understand that these skills can be transferable to the job environment,” Carrasco said.
With the fourth largest National Guard force in the nation —12,112 troops — Hoosier Guardsmen have been on 19,557 tours to Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001.
Post-Sept. 11 veterans in the state suffer a 20 percent unemployment rate,
Brig. Gen. Brian Copes of the Indiana National Guard hopes employers take up his challenge to offer those who served the country a secure job.
“If you’re going to hire someone anyway, you should consider hiring a veteran,” Copes said. “You’re going to get a good solid employee. You’re going to get someone who’s fit, healthy and drug free, someone who can work on a team, take orders and when needed can give orders.”