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State agencies making big strides to help unemployed vets

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:14pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The Department of Workforce Services is outlining more ways it's trying to help Utah’s veterans get jobs.

Unemployment among Utah’s vets is higher than the state average. Last year, Gov. Gary Herbert asked state agencies to look into how they could help vets find job opportunities that are out there.

“Sometimes, veterans just may not know the full range of options they have,” said DWS spokesman Nic Dunn.

Many vets also might not know how the skills they learned while in the service can transition into the workforce, Dunn said. They’re going to focus on letting veterans know how many companies give preference to veterans looking for work.

“Every time you log on to and search for jobs, you’ll see a little red and blue star next to some jobs, which means that these kind of stand out for veterans,” he said.

When it comes to finding employment for vets, Dunn said there are no silos of information or turf wars, but there could be gaps in communication between state agencies. So DWS will be holding more meetings with other agencies, like the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Our staff and their staff will start working together more frequently with a higher focus on sharing information or data that we need to help connect these veterans to jobs,” Dunn said.

They will also hold meetings with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce to see how they can increase opportunities for vets.

“We’re building upon an already strong, positive foundation of teamwork to help these individuals,” he said. “This is just kicking it up a notch.”

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