Veterans are struggling to find the right job for them in the tight US labor market. In 2017, a study conducted by the Call of Duty Endowment and ZipRecruiter found that almost one-third of veterans are working in jobs below their objective skill level or are underemployed.
An example of this underemployment is the case of Mike Intregila. He was a former machinist’s mate at the U.S. Navy where he worked on aircraft as a jet mechanic. When his active duty ended in 2017, he had a couple of production jobs. He worked 60 hours a week for an annual salary of only $30,000. Early this year, he was hired as a production supervisor by a dinnerware and foodservice container manufacturer in Montgomery, Alabama. It offers better working hours, pay and benefits but still does match his qualifications.
According to statistics, around 200,000 people leave the service every year and half of them join the American workforce. The military provides a two-week transitioning training to help them translate their military skills into civilian job skills.
Mike Starich, CEO of veteran-focused staffing firm Orion Talent, said transitioning into civilian life can be overwhelming for some veterans. Thus, employers should do their part in helping veterans because it will also benefit their companies. Veterans can be assets in any company because they are well-trained in the concepts of teamwork, adaptability and leadership. He suggested for companies to develop a veteran hiring program and seek the advice of veterans who are already working for them.