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Indiana Aims To Connect Employers & Veterans, Fill Jobs


The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs wants to promote the benefits of hiring veterans, and teach employers to accommodate some of their unique needs. 

A summit on Wednesday is one in a chain of efforts aimed to decrease veteran unemployment.

In 2014, the unemployment rate among post-9-11 veterans was 10 percent, nearly double the state’s overall rate. 

Yet by the end of 2015, the rate among newer veterans dropped to just 1.4 percent. 

Deanna Pugh is the director of employment and education for the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

She says the state gets some credit for that drop.

“Our IDVA and Indiana National Guard employment team has placed, since 2014, over 1,600 of our veterans into employment,” she says.

Pugh says there are still barriers for the 1.4 percent who are actively looking for employment.  

She says the summit aims to provide information employers are requesting.

“Where can we find them?” she says. “What are we looking at with their military culture?  Because it’s different than the civilian cultures.”

Pugh says the event will include presentations from businesses that have set up veteran organizations within their companies to help new hires adjust to the workplace. 

The summit, How & Why to Hire a Veteran, will take place from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 1 at the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, 350 West Maryland Street.

The state will host a smaller-scale event at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds at 1010 Teal Road in Lafayette from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8.

Employers will conduct screening interviews and veterans can obtain information about benefits, education and other services.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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