Survey: returning veterans not confident they’ll find work
They’re coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq, and nobody will hire them.
Eye-opening new statistics are out, showing just how hard it is for soldiers to find work once they’re back from the battlefield.
A survey from Monster Worldwide shows just 29-percent of returning Afghanistan soldiers are confident they’ll find suitable work when they come home from the war. And more than 60-percent of employers say the veterans aren’t prepared for a career change.
The struggle to enter the workforce is a challenge one Fort Collins soldier experienced firsthand when he came home from war.
Shane Clarke is an Army National Guard member. When his deployment was finished, he came back home to Colorado in 2010 looking for work.
“As a veteran you kind of think ‘hey, look what I just did, I went and I served. Does anyone care? Does anyone know?” Clarke told FOX 31 Denver.
He thought finding a new job would be easy. After all, he has a Masters Degree in Business. He helped lead 3,200 soldiers in the Gulf. So he started applying for jobs before he even got home from war.
”I even did some interviews on Skype while I was in the desert, but each time they`d either say ‘you`re overly-qualified for this job,’ or ‘hey, we think you`re great, but we went with someone else,’ that type of thing, so it got a little frustrating when I got home,” Clarke said.
He’s not alone.
The unemployment rate for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans was over 12 percent last year. When soldiers come home, all too often, they come home to nothing.
“And so I decided it’s time to take my career and put it in to my own hands,” Clarke said.
As you probably figured out by now, Shane is highly disciplined. That goes for his money, too. While he was at war, he was socking away paychecks. And when he couldn’t find another job, he realized somehow had enough money in the bank to buy the Fort Collins location of Tran’s Martial Arts and Fitness Center. He became his own boss.
The idea didn’t exactly come from nowhere. Shane was actually a student at the studio from the age of 10. And owning the dojo has been a childhood dream come true.
Now, he’s experiencing combat of a different kind. And while he may not yet feel invincible as an entrepreneur, he’s at least glad to have a job he loves… when no one else would give him one.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own dojo, and now I own one of the largest dojos in Colorado. It’s kinda cool,” Clarke said.
If you’re a veteran with a dream of owning your own business – or if you know one – there is help out there. The small business administration gives special priority to veterans seeking business loans. For more information on that, click here: http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2985
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