Friday, August 28, 2015 02:35am
North Adams, MA now: 52 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
LOG IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
The Independent Investor: Hire a Veteran
By Bill Schmick On: 06:21PM / Friday March 30, 2012
Over 2.2 million of our men and women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today 7.6 percent of them are looking for jobs. Hiring them should be a no-brainer for this country's employers.

Don't get me wrong, things have improved for returning Gulf War era veterans over the last two years. In 2010, their unemployment rate was 11.6 percent and spiked to 12.1 percent in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fortunately, the economy has improved since then and both the public and private sectors have pitched in to aid our returning vets in their job search.

However, more needs to be done. Although 1.9 million of these ex-soldiers hold private-sector jobs today, another 90,000 troops are expected to return from Afghanistan by 2014. The good news is that the economy seems to be healing and the jobless rate has come down to 8.5 percent Say what you want about the Obama administration, they are doing a good job at getting the word out that our veterans come first, in my opinion.

The president has launched a Veterans Job Corps and has offered tax breaks for companies that hire vets under his VOW to Hire Heroes Act. The White House's "Joining Forces" initiative, led by the first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, is also telegraphing the nationwide message to "Hire a Vet, Hire a Vet."

In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs is doing all it can to convince America's corporate world that veterans should be a prime ingredient of their work force.

The VA has put on job fairs to woo private and public-sector employers into interviewing more vets with some success. The VA's selling points, when pitching the strengths of veterans, are their self-discipline, problem-solving skills, decision-making under stressful circumstances and their attention to detail. It also helps that most veterans are team players. I happen to agree with all of the above.

Back in the day, (when I returned home from a stint in Vietnam) I needed and found a job as an apprentice machinist in my hometown of Philadelphia. It was a culture shock. A factory floor replaced the jungle canopy that was my home for almost two years. I knew nothing about cutting bars of steel into aircraft nuts and bolts, but I was willing to learn.

Granted, I was no longer making life and death decisions on a day-to-day basis as leader of my Marine unit, but it was a job and I was grateful to have one. After all, no one was shooting at me. To be honest, it was monotonous, boring, dirty work, but I stuck with it and did a commendable job (according to my boss) until it was time to start my college education. Believe me, vets know they have to start over and learn from the bottom.

Since all the focus seems to be on Gulf War soldiers, for those pre-9/11 veterans who may feel left out, The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, which is part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, will begin offering 12 months of GI Bill benefits for older unemployed vets by this summer. Vets who qualify may be able to receive as much as $17,600 for education and training.

And don't believe all that malarkey about post-traumatic stress disorder. The Rand Corp.'s 2008 study indicated that almost one in five returning vets suffered from PTSD may be true but that still leaves over 80 percent of Gulf War vets without PTSD. I'm almost sure all front-line soldiers (regardless of their war era) suffered from some PTSD. I know I did when I returned from Vietnam. Remember, too, our homecoming was much different from today's treatment of returning soldiers. Call me lucky, but the trauma of war plus the ostracism I felt from Americans at home never interfered with my job performance and, over time, I got over it without medical assistance. Most vets do.

Today's exodus of soldiers after 10 years of war in the Middle East reminds me of a similar time in America's history. I wrote about it in a past column:

"When WW II ended in 1945, 16 million Americans (one out of eight) were serving their country in some capacity. With returning vets looking for work, many feared we were heading for massive unemployment and another Depression unless Washington did something about it. In 1944, the GI Bill of Rights was passed. It gave servicemen unemployment checks, low-interest housing, business loans and a free college education.

"Nearly 8 million vets took advantage of that benefit and in the process drove the U.S. illiteracy rate to 3 percent, the lowest level in American history. It also transformed our economy, creating a massive Technocracy, while introducing the age of information."

We may be on the verge of yet another such experience (if smaller) that could boost our future economic prospects simply by harnessing the power of these returning heroes today. I say we have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain by hiring a vet.

Bill Schmick is an independent investor with Berkshire Money Management. (See "About" for more information.) None of the information presented in any of these articles is intended to be and should not be construed as an endorsement of BMM or a solicitation to become a client of BMM. The reader should not assume that any strategies, or specific investments discussed are employed, bought, sold or held by BMM. Direct your inquiries to Bill at (toll free) or email him at wschmick@fairpoint.net. Visit www.afewdollarsmore.com for more of Bill's insights.



1 Comments
     
News Headlines
Opened or Closed? Debate Over Kirvin Park's Gate Grows
North Adams Neighborhood Opposed to Bike Path Plan
Triad Holds Annual Picnic at Greylock Club Pavilion
Adams Inviting Residents to Get Involved in Strategic Planning Process
Adams to Look Into Expanding Solid Waste Services
Mount Greylock Officials Make Case for School District
Economist Urges Berkshires To Build Around Strong Non-Profit Economy
North Adams Committee Reviewing Online Information Access
BRTA Details Regional Transit Plan
Williamstown Selectmen Debate Cost Saving Vs. 'Green' Action

Bill Schmick is registered as an investment advisor representative and portfolio manager with Berkshire Money Management (BMM), managing over $200 million for investors in the Berkshires. Bill’s forecasts and opinions are purely his own and do not necessarily represent the views of BMM. None of his commentary is or should be considered investment advice. Anyone seeking individualized investment advice should contact a qualified investment adviser. None of the information presented in this article is intended to be and should not be construed as an endorsement of BMM or a solicitation to become a client of BMM. The reader should not assume that any strategies, or specific investments discussed are employed, bought, sold or held by BMM. Direct your inquiries to Bill at 1-888-232-6072 (toll free) or email him at Bill@afewdollarsmore.com Visit www.afewdollarsmore.com for more of Bill’s insights.

 

 

 



Categories:
@theMarket (177)
Independent Investor (241)
Archives:
August 2015 (5)
August 2014 (2)
July 2015 (6)
June 2015 (8)
May 2015 (6)
April 2015 (8)
March 2015 (6)
February 2015 (7)
January 2015 (9)
December 2014 (7)
November 2014 (4)
October 2014 (9)
September 2014 (5)
Tags:
Rally Banks Selloff Stocks Commodities Pullback Europe Japan Deficit Greece Fiscal Cliff Euro Retirement Debt Energy Oil Currency Stimulus Economy Congress Bailout Interest Rates Election Markets Europe Metals Stock Market Crisis Taxes Recession Fed Federal Reserve Debt Ceiling Jobs Housing
Popular Entries:
The Independent Investor: Don't Fight the Fed
The Independent Investor: Understanding the Foreclosure Scandal
@theMarket: QE II Supports the Markets
The Independent Investor: Does Cash Mean Currencies?
@theMarket: Markets Are Going Higher
The Independent Investor: General Motors — Back to the Future
The Independent Investor: Will the Municipal Bond Massacre Continue?
@theMarket: Economy Sputters, Stocks Stutter
The Independent Investor: Why Are Interest Rates Rising?
The Independent Investor: How Will Wall Street II Play on Main Street?
Recent Entries:
@theMarket: Markets Are Supposed to Pullback
The Independent Investor: Not All Bonds Are the Same
The Independent Investor: The Risk of Rising Rates
The Independent Investor: Boomers' Kids Don't Want Your Stuff
@theMarket: Month-End Musings
The Independent Investor: Supermarkets Evolve to Survive
The Independent Investor: Are You Ready for El Niño
@theMarket: O Ye of Little Faith
The Independent Investor: When 'No' Means 'Yes'
@theMarket: Global Markets Weather a Wild Week


Live on the Lake: Madison...
Madison Avenue wrapped up the 2015 Live on the Lake concert...
Whitman's Wins Torchia League...
The Pat Torchia Women's Softball League playoffs concluded...
Berkshires Craft Beer Fest...
The 9th annual Western Mass beer festival drew hundreds of...
Pat Torchia Women's Softball...
Whitman's took the first game in the best two out of three...
Third Thursday August 2015
It was another beautiful night for 3rd Thursday on North...
Berkshire Chamber @ Darrow...
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce held its monthly...
Shire City Sessions August...
Wild Adriatic performs at Monday's Shire City Sessions, a...
BYP Networking @WTF
The Berkshire Young Professionals held its networking event...
Softball: VFW Post vs Pizza...
VFW Post vs Pizza House at DiSanti field on Monday night.
Second Cheshire Block Party
Cheshire resident enjoyed good food and music by the...
Downtown Celebration 2015
The annual Downtown Celebration brought hundreds to Main...
Pittsfield Ethnic Fair
Pittsfield Ethnic Fair was held at the Pittsfield Common on...
Annual Cruz Nite And...
Cheshire residents enjoyed classic cars, good food, a BMX...
Adams National Night Out 2015
Adams recognized its first responders on Tuesday night...
National Night Out 2015
Neighborhoods in North Adams marked the annual National...
Adams Aggie Demo Derby 2015
Crash! Boom! Bang! The annual Aggie Fair demolition derby...
Live on the Lake: Madison...
Madison Avenue wrapped up the 2015 Live on the Lake concert...
Whitman's Wins Torchia League...
The Pat Torchia Women's Softball League playoffs concluded...
Berkshires Craft Beer Fest...
The 9th annual Western Mass beer festival drew hundreds of...
Pat Torchia Women's Softball...
Whitman's took the first game in the best two out of three...
Third Thursday August 2015
It was another beautiful night for 3rd Thursday on North...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings |
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2012 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy| User Agreement