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Hiring Heroes: Why Ohio’s Workforce Needs Veterans

Only five other states are home to more veterans than Ohio. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Buckeye State is home to 729,645 veterans. Only California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas have more veterans than Ohio. With the state’s unemployment rate well below historic averages, many employers are turning to veterans to fill open positions. While the veteran unemployment rate is nationally lower that the nonveteran unemployment rate, 3% versus 3.8%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, many returning veterans struggle to re-integrate themselves into the civilian workforce after military service. “Finding the mission again,” or reinventing a new life in the civilian work world, can be hugely challenging for many. The transition can be a time when veterans are at greater risk for depression, homelessness, and increased risk of crisis, according to the veterans’ advocacy organization DAV. Part of the challenge for veterans is helping civilian employers recognize the key skills they’re seeking in veteran resumes. State officials and leading employers are helping to change this; the state is now home to 2,792 designated “Military Friendly” employers in the state of Ohio, and state-run and corporate programs are seeing marked successes in helping veterans re-integrate into Ohio’s workforce. With a panel of veteran leaders, we unpack the hidden challenges Ohio veterans face returning to the workforce after military life, and dive into the strategies that are connecting veterans with Ohio employers ready to hire them.

Featuring Tony Anzic, U.S. Navy Veteran, and Executive Director, Location Services, JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Major General (Retired) Deborah Ashenhurst, Director, Ohio Department of Veterans Services; Marnie Holder, Vice President of Advancement, National Veterans Museum & Memorial; A-Jay Orr, Executive Director, Ohio Veterans Collaborative, and U.S. Army Veteran and hosted by Stacia Naquin, Anchor, ABC6 & Fox 28 Columbus.