By Samantha Joseph
TREASURE COAST - Workforce Solutions has launched a campaign to put 100 veterans to work in as many days.
The state-charted agency is reaching out to businesses in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties in an attempt to find jobs for some of the region's thousands of unemployed veterans.
Its "100 Heroes 100 Days" campaign launched Aug. 3 and ends on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
The group wants to work with local businesses to find qualified ex-military personnel to fill vacant job slots.
"These are very talented individuals who have very strong work ethics and impressive backgrounds," said Debby Coxwell, director of programs at Workforce Solutions.
"I would know that as the mother of two Marines."
Plus, hiring veterans could lead to financial benefits under the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.
"It's a win-win because employers can receive federal credits of up to $9,600 for every veteran they hire," Ms. Coxwell said.
Across the region, more than 5,100 veterans are looking for work.
Of St. Lucie County's 23,000, about 2,000 are collecting unemployment compensation, according to Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity.
In Martin County, about 1,500 will be relying on unemployment compensation by Sept. 30, state data show.
The numbers are about the same in Indian River County, where slightly less than 10 percent of that area's 15,000 ex-military staffers are out of work and seeking employment.
"There's a significant need," Ms. Coxwell said.
"When considering the numbers getting unemployment, you have to remember that great numbers have already exhausted their eligibility, which means they're unemployed and not receiving this income. The need is therefore tremendous."
That's why the group wants business owners to allow it to help them fill job vacancies with qualified veterans from its database.
"There are many ceremonies and opportunities to thank a veteran on Veterans Day, but I can't imagine a better way to thank them than to give them an opportunity of employment," said Richard Stetson, Workforce Solutions' president and CEO.
For more information, call (866) 482-4473 or visit www.yourworkforcesolutions.com.