Tennessee Named an "All Star Vet State"
Tennessee joins Iowa and Michigan as being named an "All Star Vet State." State Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips showcased their collaborative focus on veteran employment which gained them the coveted title. As part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring Our Heroes initiative this pilot program includes a web-portal designed to assist veterans and active-duty service members around the country quickly access state resource.
“Troops are coming home to their families, their communities and in some cases, unemployment,” Grinder said. “We are collaborating with state partners, higher education institutions and proactive partners such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to connect resources needed to create economic and educational success for our Tennessee Veterans and their families.”
Many personal stories exist showing the impact of deployment on the individual and their family. Some find that their employment 'back home' is in danger or their job is no longer available. One of Tennessee's servicemen, United States Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Daniel Sanders, noted that he received difficult news while on a nine month deployment to the Middle East.
“I tried to keep focused on my mission overseas, but I couldn’t help but think about how I was going to support my family once I returned to middle Tennessee,” Sanders said. “While I was deployed I was getting a consistent paycheck, so it was bittersweet to return to my family, home and community not knowing what is next.”
The average unemployment rate for Tennessee Veterans in 2013 was 6.9 percent.
“The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is committed to providing multiple channels through which our veterans can find jobs. They can utilize both our jobs database www.jobs4tn.gov and our Tennessee Career Centers, where they will receive first notice of job orders from local employers,” Phillips said. “Additionally, our Tennessee Career Centers have dedicated veterans’ representatives on site who are available to provide one-on-one career counseling to this most deserving group of citizens, our military veterans.”
“Tennessee has worked aggressively to be a top destination for our nation’s veterans and military spouses,” said Eric Eversole, executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes program. “We are thrilled to work together through our All Star Vet States initiative to help Tennessee highlight the many economic and educational opportunities for the men and women who have served our country.”
The All Star State designation highlights the opportunities, services and assistance being provided in the state as they work to support transitioning service members and their spouses.
Partnerships with the Tennessee Department of Correction, Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Department of Military, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, Department of Environment and Conservation and Department of Economic and Community Development exist as they recruit veteran employees and provide economic resources for veteran business owners.