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Helping New Jersey Veterans Find Work [AUDIO]

New statistics from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate for veterans – in New Jersey and across the country – dropped about two percent last year- to 9.9 percent.

Tetra Images, Getty Images

Hal Wirths, the New Jersey Labor Commissioner, says the trend is expected to continue because dozens of job fairs for vets are being created.

“We’re very proud to do everything possible,” he says. “I have over 50 full-time employees that work day in and day out – most are veterans themselves – that work exclusively with helping to get veterans back to work or with schooling.”

Wirths believes helping veterans find employment is the least we can do for men and women who have stepped up to the plate and served their country.

“Veterans are always given priority status when they come into one of our one-stop career centers. Any veteran out there that’s looking for work, or having a problem – first thing they should do is go to one of our one-stops.”

In addition to partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Labor Department has also supported the Helmets to Hardhats program, which trains returning vets for the construction industry, giving them apprenticeships.

“We can’t thank them enough, the moral obligation is there,” Wirths say. “But, it’s also great economics for these companies, to get very disciplined, well-trained workers coming back. You don’t have to tell them how to dress, they’re very neat dressers and they get up and go to work on time, and they have great skills that were taught to them by the best military in the world.”

A Hiring Our Heroes job fair takes place today at Rider University in Lawrenceville from 9 a.m. till noon, and another major Hiring Our Heroes event is scheduled for April 25th in Camden.

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