Service groups help area vets find jobs - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Service groups help area vets find jobs

By Heather Sawaski

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- It's hard enough for some people trying to find a job in today's market. But an extra burden lies on veterans just returning from war. Many have been gone for months, maybe years. That's why some veteran's service groups are joining forces to help them land a job.

Joe Westphal is new to the Wausau area. He's also still getting used to being back on American soil. He's part of the Wisconsin National Guard's 32nd Infantry Brigade, and just finished his first tour of duty in Iraq. Now, the soldier is on the hunt for a job.

"I'm just looking for any opportunity right now to get my foot in the door," Westphal said. "I want to get experience, anything of that nature."

Westphal joins dozens of other local veterans making the rounds at Wausau's Veterans Job Fair. Sponsored by different state veterans service groups, it's a chance for those who fought for our country to get a leg up in the local job market.

"The veteran has more of a one on one chance to talk with the employer to make an impression, give the time for that back and forth communication that's so important in looking for a job," explained Veterans Employment Rep. Gary Albrecht.

There were booths for 25 local businesses, everything from healthcare to manufacturing. Organizers say it's a good way for vets to showcase their talents.

"As far as discipline," Albrecht added. "being able to work as part of a team and especially the younger veterans getting out now have a higher level of technical expertise."

It wasn't not just about employment. The vets could also learn about the different healthcare and education benefits, as well as financial opportunities they may not even know they're entitled to.

Westphal was handing out resume's and getting back a lot of useful information.

"Especially with the economy right now," he said. "So anything that would get my resume out there and get my name known would be a positive."

The Office of Veterans Affairs is hosting a number of different job fairs for veterans around the state. The next one in our area will be at the Rhinelander Armory on September 8th.

For a complete list, click here.

Online Reporter: Heather Sawaski

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