Thu June 2, 2011

Colorado Veterans Benefit from U.S. Dept of Labor Grant

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced more than $9 million in job training grants for veterans, including those in Colorado. The money comes at a time when Afghanistan and Iraq veterans are struggling to find work.

Colorado will receive $500,000 to fund a third year of its Veterans Green Job Training Program. The idea is to connect returning veterans with training and internships in the renewable energy field.

“It’s not simply of doing a pass through of money to veterans, but working closely with them to determine exactly what their skill level is, what their skill level needs to be, how to get that and how to hook them up with a good paying job,” says Bill Thoennes, spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

In 2007, average unemployment for veterans who had served in post 9/11 conflicts was 6.1 percent across the country. But with the economic downturn, unemployment surged to 14.7 percent last year for this group, well above the national average. Thoennes says that in the last 18 months, his department has helped 250 veterans find work in Colorado.

Veterans interested in learning more about the program can click here for more information.