South Carolina launched a new effort Wednesday to find jobs for veterans. Operation Palmetto Employment is a partnership between the governor's office, the SC National Guard, and the state Department of Employment and Workforce.
"This is more than just a shaking of the hands and saying thank you. This is saying we're going to help you. We're going to lift you up. We're going to do something better," Gov. Nikki Haley said in announcing the new program.
At one point several years ago, the unemployment rate for members of the South Carolina National Guard was 16 percent. So the Guard started a new program of helping members find jobs, including job counseling and job fairs. Their unemployment rate is now under 4 percent.
The new program is mainly a new website that gives vets a one-stop-shop to find jobs and any other employment information they need. (http://operationpalmettoemployment.sc.gov/)
Gov. Haley says it's a win-win-win for veterans, the employers who hire them, and for taxpayers across the state. "We all know that when more people work more people spend. And so the key is the more people we can get to work, we know the economy will turn," she says.
The effort has been in the works for awhile but comes just as the Department of Defense is talking about making major cuts to the size of the military, meaning even more veterans will be looking for work.
SC's Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Bob Livingston has been in Washington, D.C. for the past couple of days in meetings about the proposed cuts. Deputy Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Les Eisner says since they're just proposals at this point, there's no way to know how the cuts will affect South Carolina.
"I can't really say whether we're going to have a three percent cut, or whatever percent cut," he says. "It's going to be left up to our national leadership and the governors to make sure that we take prudent cuts, both in the active and reserve components to make sure that we can defend the nation at home and abroad."
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