Original Article Posted on Perry County Tribune
by Bill Rockwell, Tribune Reporter
FEBRUARY, 20, 2017

The use of veterans to fill vacant employment position could be a boon to Ohio’s workforce and economy. Ryan Blackburn with the Ohio Department of Veteran Services detailed the department’s focus on finding work and, or education for the thousands of veterans across the state.

“We have thousands of veterans that call Ohio home and thousands more daily that return to the state from serving their country that are looking for work or to continue their education,” Blackburn said at a meeting of the Perry County Chamber of Commerce during their monthly lunch meeting held recently at Los Mariachi’s in New Lexington.

Blackburn said that Ohio is home to more than 830,000 veterans, the sixth largest such population among states in the country, and that 450,000 veterans are currently in the labor force.

“There are about 45,000 (veterans) in Perry and surrounding counties,” Blackburn said. “Many of them already have a specific type of training that can be used in different companies and industries.”

Blackburn added that approximately 10,000 service members return to Ohio this year and that the unemployment rate among Ohio veterans ranges between 3.5-4.5 percent. “That’s a number that our organization is working to lower,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn said the website ohiomeansjobs.com is a resource both for veterans who are looking to add to their skillset and to employers seeking an avenue to employ veterans. “One of the best kept secrets in our state is our veterans, assisting them in any way we can as they enter the private workforce is an honor and duty to them.”

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