As thousands of men and women defending our country overseas return from Afghanistan and Iraq, the state of Mississippi is ensuring they have a clear path to employment. 2013 has been declared the year to hire Mississippi heroes by Governor Phil Bryant, Wednesday morning.
Surrounded by veterans in the State Capitol Rotunda, Bryant signed the proclamation. Through the Mississippi Department of Employment Security the governor will host three job fairs this year specific for veterans.
Bryant also hopes to sign a law streamlining the process for veterans' and their spouses to obtain occupational licenses, such as teaching and nursing. State leaders say that after sacrificing so much they have earned our support.
"More than just a handshake or a pat on the back, we should offer them an opportunity when they return," Bryant said. "Let us make this the year to hire Mississippi heroes."
MDES Executive Director Mark Henry cited statistics from the U.S. Labor Department which he said reinforced their efforts. The unemployment rate for U.S. veterans is 10.8 percent, while the national average is 7.8 percent.
"Men and women who have been defending us are having a harder time finding a job than those of us who have stayed at home," Henry said.
The presidents of Entergy Mississippi and Ingalls Shipbuilding were on-hand to sign a veterans hiring pledge. This proclamation comes one day after Wal-Mart announced an initiative to hire 100,000 veterans in the next five years.
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