Tennessee Attacks Joblessness for State's Veterans

Steve Brophy, vice president of government affairs for Dollar General, developed a program in California to address unemployment among veterans and brought it to Tennessee when he made the move from the west coast.  While attempting to fill vacant positions, he discovered Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a national program supporting states' investment in employment opportunities for active duty military and veterans.  The Paychecks for Patriots program grew and launched in 2012 to offer an opportunity for veterans to attend local job fairs across Tennessee with a chance for on-the-spot hiring.

In a recent Daily News Journal  article, Brophy said "Unemployment among National Guard was twice state average," which prompted him to work with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) to create the program.  The most recent job fairs were held in 10 cities and offered more than 1,000 job opportunities.  Nearly 200 businesses participated and the event attracted 1,745 veterans and their spouses.

TDLWD also provides veteran outreach efforts focused on the myriad of programs available.  Topics such as education, jobs, mental health services, business resources and claims assistance are offered. Veterans, their spouses, and dependants are informed of their services and make a connection with federal, state and local resources.

Tennessee Career Centers offer priority of service for all military veterans.  The state currently houses over 500,000 veterans and the center provides services to more than 39,000 veterans.  

 To read more about Tennessee programs, visit http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/es/veterans.shtml