FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The U.S. Department of Labor reports the veteran unemployment rate stands at 5.9 percent, down from 6.8 percent last month. But experts say, don’t be fooled by the numbers, underemployment is a real issue.
On Nov. 12, CareerSource is holding a virtual job fair called Paychecks for Patriots to ensure veterans are linked with the right employers and earn their value. Vets are encouraged to come prepared and ready to adapt.
Barry Burnette is a former U.S. Air Force aircraft mechanic who hasn’t lost his focus on detail after separating in 2013.
“There’s always something new when you’re a truss designer,” said Burnette. “It’s very much like being a heavy aircraft mechanic - it takes attention to detail, problem-solving and there’s accountability and very strict deadlines. Adaptability is also a very big thing”
And Burnette’s adapted as a truss designer at A-1 Roof Trusses in Fort Pierce. The number one truss supplier in South Florida where 20-percent of employees are veterans. Even the chief operating officer is a U.S. Navy shellback.
“We’ve actually adopted somethings that I did in the military,” said Michael Ruede, A-1 Roof Trusses executive vice-president and chief operating officer (COO). “Personal qualification standards have been incorporated throughout the company and we’ve done that for positions. So as they compete their PQS booklet they get to move up and actually see their path to get to the next point.”
Ruede also said it’s imperative for veterans to quickly adapt, learn, and be open to change.
”Put yourself in the best position that you can put yourself in to learn about a business - don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and learn something new that may not even be related to what you did while in the military,” he said.
A-1 Roof Trusses alone is looking to hire 40 new designers, truss assemblers, customer service, and sales reps. And they're encouraging veterans to apply.
”It’s a new start,” said Bill Tennant, A-1 Roof Trusses network administrator, and Marine. “It's a complete different ballgame from what you were doing. But what you did is going to pay dividends in this new one.”
To assist, approximately 60 employers across South Florida will be part of Career Source’s Paychecks for Patriots virtual job fair Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Linking industry leaders with veterans and their spouses.
“Part of my job is to educate employers on those soft skills that veterans can bring to the table and to organizations,” said Victor Melendez, CareerSource Research Coast local veteran employment representative. “It’s having that understanding of matching those skills that veterans have earned throughout the years in their military career. regardless if it’s two to 25 years. We are a driving force.”
Veterans and spouses can register for Paychecks for Patriots, here:
The list of employers hiring include:
- Piper Aircraft Inc.
- Palm Beach County Engineering and Public Works
- Easterseals Florida
- Waste Pro
- The Porch Factory
- Scripps Research
- Regions Security Services
- P&L Corporate Solutions, LLC
- U.S. Security Care, Inc.
- Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital
- ABA Therapy Solutions
- SPERE Security
- A-1 Roof Trusses, LTD
- RoadSafe Traffic Systems
- St. Lucie County - BOCC
- Sunshine Land Design
- CVS Health
- Spada's Total Auto Repair
- EINSTEIN BROS.® BAGELS (Brightline - Downtown Miami)
- Seacoast Bank
- SHURCO LLC
- Martin Correctional Institution
- St. Lucie Public Schools
- Child Care Careers
- DSS, Inc.
- APB SECURITY
- Venergy Group, LLC
- Hillsborough County Public Schools - Office of Teacher Recruitment
- Rob Petka Franchise Consulting LLC
- Amazon Co.
- Ampersand Graphics
- Awareness Technology, Inc.
- Delray Yacht Cruises
- Walmart DC
- Retreat Behavioral Health
- Minuteman Press
- Wendy's / JAE Restaurant Group
- PBC Sheriff's Office 911
- Altima Lighting