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$1 Million for Veteran Jobs in North Carolina

March 6, 2012

Corporations in North Carolina are taking notice of its veteran population and helping them find new job opportunities. With the recent influx of soldiers returning home, the jobless rate for veterans has gone up. With the help of the G.I. Bill, many veterans are able to go to school and get a career, but others need to transition into careers upon return. In Mecklenburg County alone, there are 3,100 veterans who are looking for work and the numbers are increasing as more return from overseas. Local corporations and non-profit organizations have decided to receive $1 million by Memorial Day to help veterans find jobs.

This past Wednesday, Wells Fargo and Goodrich foundations have created a model for helping soldiers transition into civilian life, including a career. The two foundations want to meet a campaign goal by Memorial Day, so money can be used for scholarships, placing veterans into jobs through the local Central Piedmont Community College and career planning.

The new program is called the Charlotte Veterans Employment Initiative. The new plan will bring companies, non-profit organizations and educators together in support of veterans, training and helping them to find careers, not just jobs. Marshall Larsen of Goodrich Corporation also revealed a challenge on Wednesday for the community to help. To show an example, Goodrich and Wells Fargo provide the first $350,000 for the total goal.

”We’ve got a chance here to set the standard,” Larsen said. “This is something not being done anywhere else. We can be the model.”

The kick-off was revealed at an early morning event at One Wells Fargo Tower, bringing together 30 local companies with ties to the military that also included Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and former mayor Harvey Gantt.

The fundraiser is in response to a variety of problems that are facing returning vets and their families. The economy has led to a job deprivation, but that isn’t the only problem. Veterans have a jobless rate of 10.5 percent in Mecklenburg County. There are 9,000 jobless vets in this part of North Carolina alone. Advocates have said that the problem will likely only get worse because of the withdrawal of many troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

As the biggest city in North Carolina, Charlotte will no doubt be home to many new returning veterans and Charlotte must face the problems, offering more training and jobs, and also providing a solution to the problem. Hopefully there will be many more donors to contribute as well as offer jobs and services to these veterans.

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