Pharos-Tribune

Local News

February 27, 2013

Taking on civilian roles

Veterans returning home face sluggish job market with flexibility

After eight years as a U.S. Army truck driver, Robert Gordon spent a decade driving trucks for civilian companies which wouldn’t recognize his military work experience.

Gordon, who joined the Army after graduating from high school in 1989, left the trucking business for family reasons and started work at Myers Spring a week ago. He’s now pursuing an associates degree through Ivy Tech Community College when he’s not on the job. And he’s one of a group that area employers credit with more willingness to pursue job-related training and commit to a company.

Workforce statistics indicate that post-9/11 veterans returning home are facing a statewide unemployment rate of 20 percent, twice the national rate for post-9/11 veterans.

However, U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 1,559 veterans ages 18 to 64 are in the Cass County workforce, and of those, an estimated 129 are unemployed — all from age categories over 34 years old. Those estimates are based on community surveys from 2007 through 2011.

More recent data isn’t available, but Cass County Veterans Services officer Larry Lowry suggested “quite a few” veterans are looking for employment now.

“They may lack the skills, or some of them have skills… there just don’t seem to be too many jobs available,” Lowry said.

Veterans in medical or technical fields often have marketable skills they can transfer into civilian life, he added, “but a lot of times if they were just in the infantry or artillery, those skills we can’t really use back home right now.”

In many cases, veterans will take “about anything they can get a hold of,” Lowry said. “Good jobs are hard to come by now.”

Other characteristics make veterans as a group good candidates for job openings, local employers say.

“When you’re looking at a veteran, you’re know you’ve got somebody who’s willing to make a commitment,” said Brian Howard, plant manager at ABC Metals in Logansport.

Of the 43 employed at the metals supplier, about eight are veterans. Many had some training from their military days that could transfer to civilian work, he said, though it didn’t always apply to work at ABC Metals.

Employers approached by one new Logansport staffing agency have been very receptive of hiring veterans, according to an agency spokesman.

“Employers definitely want to hire veterans,” said Todd Taylor, an employment representative for Veterans Labor Group, a member of the Dilling Group. The staffing contractor has been operating in Logansport for about six months and works strictly on finding jobs for veterans or their family members.

“Right now I think the only problem is that there just aren’t jobs available, especially in certain communities,” Taylor explained. Economic recovery in central Indiana has been slow, he said, but the staffing agency is working with employers and job-seeking veterans to prepare for better job prospects ahead.

“As the economy shows signs of rebound I think employment will pick up,” Taylor said. “Right now about all we can do in that kind of situation is get the foundation set for when it picks up.”

The group is seeing some demand to fill logistics jobs like warehousing and transportation, a trend Taylor said was statewide. “Manufacturing seems to be making a slow comeback in Indiana, especially up north,” he said.

Overall, veterans who’ve contacted Veterans Labor Group have typically had more skills than required for a particular job, he said. But they’re also willing to pursue additional certification.

“You really have to be eager to change if you have to” in the current job market, said Taylor. “Military personnel seem to really understand that.”

“That seems to be the mindset of a lot of the military — they are a little more eager to seek training or additional certification.”

Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5151.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT042214 Indiana Beach Viper.jpg Monticello amusement park brings new thrills MONTICELLO -- Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster -- the Galaxi -- is being retired after 42 years. Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago. "At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he said. "It's one

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Southeastern school board reopens its search for a principal at Lewis Cass WALTON -- Southeastern School Corp. officials thought they had found their new principal for Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School. The position was offered to a candidate, but he declined to accept it, Superintendent Trudie Hedrick reported to the school b

    April 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided Guests will be able to climb into a carved-out pumpkin that will circle above Indiana Beach in one of the park's latest rides -- the Pumpkin Ferris Wheel.

    April 22, 2014

  • shelly maness Woman arrested in meth lab find MACY — A narcotics investigation led to the recent arrest of a Fulton County woman on several drug charges. Shelly Maness, 35, Macy, was arrested on two felony counts of dealing in methamphetamine, possession of meth, possession of an illegal drug la

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police blotter: April 21, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 21, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition