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Veteran’s resource center works to reduce unemployment

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Austin's unemployment rate is better than the national average but that's not the case for area veterans.

Charlie Daniel is one of thousands of Austin-area veterans currently without a job. Several times a week he comes to the new Veteran's Resource Center, located inside WorkForce Solutions, looking for any mechanical or industrial maintenance positions that may be posted on-line.

"My qualification and experience covers a wide range but when you reach a certain age, they're not too out there," said Daniel.

It's the same for many of the veterans that come to the center everyday. WorkForce Solutions staff help veterans turn military experience into the skills needed for regular jobs.

"Help them with their transition, taking what they learned in the military translating it back to the civilian world and getting them plugged into the economy as quickly as possible," said WorkForce Solutions Executive Director Alan Miller.

Inside the center veterans are preparing their resumes, and learning about programs to further their education. Even for those looking for basic necessities, a Red Cross volunteer is at hand. The small quiet room is a one-stop-shop, staff says, that those just coming back from war prefer.

"Some of them that don't like loud noises and crowds they can come in here we'll help them," said Veterans Employment Representative Gene Kruppa.

In the Austin area 9.2 percent of veterans are unemployed. It's a higher number than the general population at 7.8 percent. Since the center officially opened earlier this year, several veterans have been re-entering the workforce. It's that kind of success story this army veteran strives for one submitted application at a time.

"You got to do what you got to do. I know there's some work out there," said Daniel. "Oh yes, I'll continue looking. I just search and pray."


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