Due to mandated reductions in force, we’re seeing an ever-increasing number of local veterans returning to a still-difficult job market among Orange County’s ex-military.
(PRWEB) June 04, 2014
The employment experts at VetNet, a division of Orange County, California-based non-profit Working Wardrobes and an organization that provides career readiness and life skills services to veterans returning from war, confirm that proposed cuts in military spending and a subsequent reduction in military forces has led to an increase in the number of Orange County veterans returning from war, exacerbating the existing problem of unemployment – and underemployment – among the county’s transitioning military personnel.
That’s why VetNet says it’s stepping up its efforts with a goal of nearly doubling the amount of veterans it plans to assist by year’s end.
“Due to mandated reductions in force, we’re seeing an ever-increasing number of local veterans returning to a still-difficult job market among Orange County’s ex-military,” said Jerri Rosen, founder and CEO of Working Wardrobes. “We’ve added the staff and services required to provide specialized resources for veterans looking for work and anticipate we’ll nearly double the amount of veterans assisted in the coming year. The support we receive from partner agencies, companies and corporations throughout Southern California, as well as governmental grants, is absolutely critical to these efforts.”
Over the past few years, VetNet has provided help and services to approximately 600 veterans, and is on track to serve over 500 veterans with employment services this year alone. Although the economic situation in Orange County has been slowly improving, most Southern California veterans find themselves at a major disadvantage and continue to experience a number of employment barriers. Consider these statistics:
- According to the 2012 Census, there are over 140,000 veterans in Orange County
- 1,500 veterans in Orange County are homeless.1
- Veterans age 20-24 are three times more likely than civilians to be unemployed.1
- The unemployment rate for male Gulf War-era II veterans was higher (8.8 percent) than the rate for male nonveterans (7.5 percent) in 2013.2
- Male Gulf War-era II veterans age 18 to 24 had a higher unemployment rate than male nonveterans of the same age group (24.3 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively).2
Through its services, Working Wardrobes and VetNet have maintained a 70% employment rate for homeless veterans. In 2013, it was one of only three veterans’ service organizations to share in a $2 million grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF), the first of its significance to be awarded to Orange County to support local veterans.
Rosen says the organization’s upcoming VetNet Nite fundraiser, scheduled for June 21, 2014 aboard the Battleship USS Iowa in San Pedro, serves as the launch pad for generating the funds needed to help sustain VetNet’s efforts. These efforts include providing veterans with specialized job training and placement opportunities, career development, comprehensive assessment and support, professional wardrobe services, social reintegration, and a host of other services.
VetNet Nite festivities include a cocktail reception and dinner, behind-the-scenes tours of the battleship, special guest speakers, live and silent auctions, live band and swing music, and incredible surprises throughout the evening. A special ceremony will also honor the 2014 VetNet champions – including Boeing, the Wells Fargo Foundation, and VetNet Co-Founder and Executive Director Harry Humphries – who will be recognized for their tremendous support and dedication to VetNet and local Southern California veterans.
Battleship USS Iowa
250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro Harbor, CA
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Registration Opens at 5:30pm
To learn more about the services Working Wardrobes provides, visit the nonprofit’s website at http://www.WorkingWardrobes.org. For more information on VetNet Nite, please contact Megan Harless at 714-210-2460, or visit http://www.workingwardrobes.org/event-calendar/fundraisers/vetnet-nite/.
1 The Orange County Community Foundation: connectoc.org/veterans
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Situation of Veterans 2013: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.nr0.htm