National Hire a Veteran Day fast approaching

Published: Jul. 23, 2023 at 10:25 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Companies in need of employees have something to look forward to on Tuesday.

July 25th marks “National Hire a Veteran Day.” It’s a call to action for businesses to hire more of our nation’s heroes.

The Department of Labor found that 250,000 former service members were unemployed in 2022. However, there are resources veterans can seek support from right here in the panhandle.

The Panhandle Warrior Partnership (PWP) is a nonprofit aimed at improving the quality of life for veterans. Its Program Lead Keith Manley is previewing National Hire a Veteran Day to highlight everything vets bring to the table.

“[Veterans have] devotion to learning and training,” Manley said. “They’ve already gotten used to this in life. You know, training, training, training. When you’re not fighting, you’re training. Purpose-driven leadership is instilled in every service member - airmen, petty officers, and sergeants alike. High tolerance for big stress is obviously a big one if they’ve been deployed to combat zones.”

PWP also works closely with local career source locations.

“They have resume writers who take all of your military experience and transition it over to civilian experience,” Manley said. “That’s not easily done. You’ve got to be a professional. You’ve got to know what you’re doing. If you’re a service member just coming off active duty and you were in charge of a field training exercise and maybe you got an achievement medal or something for it, you can take those hours and transition that over.”

The nonprofit reports Bay, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties rank in the top five counties in the state with the most veterans living there.

Manley said roughly 2,800 vets in Northwest Florida are unemployed or underemployed. He also said 835 of the 2,800 are receiving care for service-connected disabilities. Manley added just over 100 of those 835 veterans are 100 percent service disabled and unemployable.

You can contact PWP by visiting its website.