"Hiring Our Heroes"

July  24, 2014

      Unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing veterans. To change that, the state of Iowa partnered with local businesses today to host the third annual Quad Cities "Hiring our Heroes." The job fair in Davenport included resume and skills building workshops, and a panel with local leaders in business and government. 

      Kathy Anderson, manager of the program called Home Base Iowa, wants businesses to reserve jobs for veterans. Nearly 60 employers attended the fair, many for the the first time. 

      "To the extent that businesses understand what these transitioning military members have done in the field and the leadership that they offer, as soon as that connection is made, it does not take long for them to understand the importance of that veteran to their bottom line."

      Anderson hopes to partner with businesses to shorten the hiring process for veterans like 31-year-old Michal Bostic. The Davenport native served in the military for 8 years and after losing his job at the Arsenal, he has been working part-time and looking for what he considers a decent job for two years.

      "They want to pay you minimum wage or they'll tell you you're overqualified for a bunch of jobs. That's discouraging. It's good just to get face and face and see the people instead of them getting 200 resumes for one job and then you might not qualify or something like that."

      Iowa is the third state to join the Get Skills to Work coalition, a national effort to hire veterans.