Beyond simply expressing our thanks to the thousands of military veterans living in Ohio, we have a great opportunity to make their transition back home easier. One of the most effective ways of achieving that goal is by simplifying the job-seeking process for veterans.
Late last year, the statewide job-search website, “Ohio Means Jobs,” began including a feature on the site that let military veterans know which employers are looking to hire veterans. I was proud to be among the legislators who spearheaded the measure to include this information for veterans on the website. Today, more than 1,200 businesses are listed as “veteran-friendly” in its hiring practices, according to a news report this week by Ohio Public Radio.
Employers can log into www.OhioMeansJobs.com and link to Ohio’s Veterans Support Center. A section of the website is devoted to veterans seeking employment, including resources that link military skills into potential job openings. By the same token, job-seeking military veterans can use the website for job listings that might best utilize their strengths and skills. I should note that any Ohioan looking for a job can also use the website; the veteran employment section is just one of many tools aimed at helping people find jobs.
There is no question that the skills and training that men and women in uniform receive while serving our country can certainly translate into valuable skills in the jobs market here at home. One example that comes to mind is the railroad industry, which is often recognized nationally for hiring veterans. About one in five rail employees are former members of the military, according to the organization GoRail. Along with skills also come the discipline and leadership qualities that they develop during their time in service and that can be of great benefit in the workplace.
One of the most important bills to be signed into law during the previous General Assembly was House Bill 98, which peeled back some of the obstacles that had been in place for veterans looking for work. Some service men and women are licensed for jobs here in Ohio. But occasionally those occupational licenses expire during their time in military service, even if the work they were doing in uniform was very similar to their jobs here in America.
HB 98 allows state licensing agencies to consider the skillsets of veterans after they return home. This was a common-sense measure that I believe makes the transition home easier for veterans.
November is a time when we say thanks to the men and women who fight to keep us safe and free. One critical part of this effort, in my opinion, is in making sure that veterans who are looking for work have resources available to aid in that process.
Cliff Rosenberger is the Ohio House Speaker.