Job Fair Seeks to Help Returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans in Dire Need of Work

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to have dragged on forever, but a California job fair aimed at veterans of those and other conflicts is only in its fifth year. "Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet," an initiative begun under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and continued by Gov. Jerry Brown, holds a free job fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Elks Lodge, 212 South Elk Lane, Santa Ana?

Why?

"[T] o provide a wide range of job services in one spot for veterans, many of them recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan," reads a release from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Why else?
 
Because California is home to nearly 2 million veterans, the most in the nation, and young veterans are in particular need of assistance. The 2011 California unemployment rate for veterans 20-24 years old was 37.1 percent, which the EDD notes is more than double the17.6 percent rate of similarly aged non-veterans.

At the fair, which is open to all, participants will learn not about career opportunities, but education and training options, apprenticeships and other services available in the public and private sectors, according to the EDD, which is joined in sponsoring the event with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Apprenticeship Standards and state community colleges.

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