Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips take the state’s focus on veteran employment to a national stage as one of three “All Star Vet States” along with Iowa and Michigan. The pilot partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring Our Heroes initiative includes a web-portal which helps veterans and service members all over the country quickly access Volunteer State resources at http://www.allvetstates.com/state/tennessee.
“Troops are coming home to their families, their communities and in some cases, unemployment,” Commissioner Grinder said. “We are collaborating with state partners, higher education institutions and proactive partners such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to connect resources needed to create economic and educational success for our Tennessee Veterans and their families.”
In May 2013, United States Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Daniel Sanders left his wife and two young children for a nine-month deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a parachute rigger. While on deployment, Mr. Sanders received word the construction company where he was employed unexpectedly closed.
“I tried to keep focused on my mission overseas, but I couldn’t help but think about how I was going to support my family once I returned to middle Tennessee,” Mr. Sanders said. “While I was deployed I was getting a consistent paycheck, so it was bittersweet to return to my family, home and community not knowing what is next.”
The average unemployment rate for Tennessee Veterans in 2013 was 6.9 percent.
“The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is committed to providing multiple channels through which our veterans can find jobs. They can utilize both our jobs database www.jobs4tn.gov and our Tennessee Career Centers, where they will receive first notice of job orders from local employers,” Commissioner Phillips said. “Additionally, our Tennessee Career Centers have dedicated veterans’ representatives on site who are available to provide one-on-one career counseling to this most deserving group of citizens, our military veterans.”
“Tennessee has worked aggressively to be a top destination for our nation’s veterans and military spouses,” said Eric Eversole, executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes program. “We are thrilled to work together through our All Star Vet States initiative to help Tennessee highlight the many economic and educational opportunities for the men and women who have served our country.”
The Hiring our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, created the All Star Vet States initiative to highlight the incredible opportunities, services and support being offered by states to attract and hire transitioning service members and military spouses.
Partnerships with the Tennessee Department of Correction, Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Department of Military, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, Department of Environment and Conservation and Department of Economic and Community Development are also focusing on recruiting veteran employees and economic resources for veteran business owners.