Serving those who have served us

By From page A5 | November 20, 2013

On Nov. 11, we took time as a nation to celebrate Veterans Day and honor our nation’s current and past service members. We owe a great debt of gratitude to these men and women who give their country the utmost in personal sacrifices and serve so that we may all enjoy freedom.

Despite these significant contributions, our service members continue to face challenges in their own communities. Veteran unemployment is an unfortunate reality in the 3rd Congressional District. Across the region, the jobless rate for veterans is higher than 30 percent; in many communities it is even higher. Nationally, the rate of veteran unemployment in Fairfield is among the highest in the nation.

The current situation is simply unacceptable. As a community, we all benefit from the service our veterans have given and we have a vested interest in ensuring that they can return home and know that their skills and experiences can translate into meaningful employment. To achieve this requires partnerships and community initiative among business leaders, veteran organizations, policymakers and community members.

This vision is being achieved through the Just Hire One Initiative — a community-oriented campaign organized by Congressman John Garamendi’s Jobs Task Force. The campaign aims to alleviate veteran unemployment by seeking businesses to sign our “Just Hire One” jobs pledge, providing information to businesses about the economic and other benefits of hiring veterans, and connecting veterans with employers who are hiring.

Each and every one of us can play a role in helping alleviate veteran unemployment through the Just Hire One campaign. Business owners can sign onto the pledge, veterans organizations can join as a partner and community members can join the congressman’s task force. Through awareness and coordinated efforts we can help turn the tide of veteran unemployment in the 3rd District. So please join us in serving those who have served us.

Meredith Niles
Director, Just Hire One, and Ph.D. candidate at UC Davis

Debi Tavey
Executive director, Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce

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