By Michael Messina

It seems appropriate that Veterans Day and Thanksgiving fall within a couple weeks of each other on the calendar. Veterans are high up on the list of what we are thankful for, day in and day out. It’s why the world of labor tries to take care of them as best they can when looking for civilian employment. And it’s programs like the Department of Labor’s Veteran’s Employment and Training Service (VETS) that lead the way.

Their mission reads:

We prepare America’s veterans, service members and their spouses, for meaningful careers, provide them with employment resources and expertise, protect their employment rights and promote their employment opportunities.

Ensuring employment for the men and women who serve our country seems like a no-brainer, yet 4.3 percent of our vets remain unemployed. That’s slightly lower than the overall U.S. unemployment rate (4.9 percent in October), but we can do even better.

Another great program, born out of the building trades and designed by unions, is Helmets to Hardhats. This one specifically focuses on construction jobs for vets and provides avenues for training to get there.

If you’re making your list of things to be thankful for this year, be sure to include our veterans. And if you know one who is looking for work, refer them to one of these great programs.

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