While Labor Day commemorates the economic and social contributions of U.S. workers, thousands of military veterans still struggle to find their place in the workforce. That is why Goodwill remains committed to providing the programs and supports that returning service members need to achieve long-term economic security, as well as to educating employers about transferrable skill and talents of these men and women. More than one million veterans are expected to return home in the next five years. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports recent improvements in veteran unemployment rates, Goodwill and its partners understand that diverse and ongoing supports are still necessary to ensure veterans have the best chance at workplace success. This is especially important at a time when the youngest veterans (ages 18-24) and women veterans experience higher rates of unemployment than their civilian counterparts. In June, Goodwill announced its commitment to provide 3,000 women veterans with services and supports over the next two years to help them find jobs and overcome challenges that impede their families’ path to economic self-sufficiency. This effort builds on the successes of Operation: GoodJobs, a holistic program funded by the Walmart Foundation that integrates career services and family financial fitness resources. In addition, Goodwill has hired more than 1,800 veterans and military family members at its locations or in the community, and has served more than 103,000 with job training and placement services as part of “Goodwill for America’s Heroes and Their Families,” an initiative that emerged in response to the White House’s Joining Forces campaign. Other services Goodwill provides include no-cost education, health care, housing, primary health care, vocational rehabilitation, and facilitation for substance abuse or mental illness. “Our returning service members have valuable skills and experiences, and are eager to rejoin the workforce,” said Joe Byrum, President and CEO of Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries. “Goodwill programs and services provide the extra leg up in a competitive marketplace. Our goal is to help veterans move into good-paying jobs and to let employers know about this valuable pool of talent.” Locally, Ohio Valley Goodwill serves more than 700 veterans each year. Since the early 1990’s, the organization has helped more than 5,000 veterans to receive assistance with transitional and permanent housing, skill training, job placement assistance as well as case management support. Ohio Valley Goodwill appreciates the service and dedication of our nations veterans and we thank all those who work toward helping them to become successful in the workplace.