Veteran job fairs aim to reduce unemployment among former military personnel

GLASGOW, Ky. – When individuals who served in the military are discharged and no longer on active duty, it can be a challenge to get back into the flow of daily life.

“They’ve served our country,” said Kathy Fraim, a coordinator for the Educational Opportunity Center. “We need to help serve them to help them with their needs.”

One of the ways they’re serving them is by helping unemployed veterans find the right job.

The best option for reaching that goal – hosting resource and job fairs with veterans in mind.

“We want to hold the fairs to let veterans know that there are benefits out there,” said Fraim.

William Waddle, a United States Air Force veteran, agreed.

“Lot of veterans would never know unless they come to something like this,” he said. “[Veterans] don’t even know the benefits they’ve got.”

Thirty-two different organizations and business attended the event, which was held for the fifth time.

Waddle remembers when he returned from active duty, and recalled how much nicer it would’ve been to have resources like this available to him back then.

“I come back during the Vietnam era and it wasn’t very fun,” said Waddle.

When military personnel return from active duty, it can be a scary, confusing time for them.

“Having to transition back into what everyone else thinks is a normal world, but yet they’re just trying to figure it out again,” Fraim added.

Resource and job fairs help veterans do just that.

“It let’s them see where things are out there,” said Fraim.

“Me and my friends, I have a lot of friends, too, that keeps up with this kind of stuff,” Waddle mentioned.

According to the United States Department of Labor, the annual veteran unemployment rate declined to 3.5% in 2018 – the lowest it’s been since 2000.

That sort of declining trend is what many people are hoping to see continue in the years to come, especially with veterans being provided more information about the resources available to them.

“The word’s getting out,” Fraim said. “We’re using veterans organizations in the area to get it out to their members. Hopefully it’s growing as we go.”

There is another veterans resource fair scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 16 at the Kentucky National Guard Armory, 920 Morgantown Road, Bowling Green.

It is free and open to the public.