‘Helmets To Hardhats’ To Aid Veterans Seeking Jobs


Veterans Seeking Jobs Find Help
by Susan Barnett

PHILADELPHIA– On the battlefield, there’s no question what their jobs are. But when Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans return home, many are having a difficult time finding work in the civilian world.

A lot of the veterans are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and really are not familiar with what their entitlements are, says Edward Lowry, head of the Philadelphia Veterans Multi Service and Education Center. He’s also a Vietnam veteran.

There’s not enough outreach being done at any level within the federal government, state government, or local government, Lowry says.

In 2005, vets aged 20-24 had a 15% unemployment rate, which is three times the national unemployment average. But Lowry says many of the youngest vets are seeking out an education.

What they’re doing is taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, he says. It’s a good thing and a bad thing The bad thing is they’re coming back with problems and they can’t just go right into jobs.

Those problems include physical and emotional trauma, making it tough to find work.


One program aimed at helping veterans make the shift back to the civilian world is Helmets to Hardhats, which tries to connect former and active military personnel with job opportunities in the construction industry. Governor Ed Rendell signed the Helmets to Hardhats resolution Tuesday.

As for the Helmets To Hardhats and other programs like it, Lowry has doubts.

They’re great attention grabbers, but basically I’d like to see what happens in a year or two from now to see how many veterans actually benefit from the program, he says.

But Lowry admits, even if it’s just a few, the effort will be well worth it.

Editor’s Note: The staff here at VT wants to help our Veterans. We have jobs available NOW on our sister-site www.HireVeterans.com and new jobs posted daily. If you are looking for a job or have a job you would like to post please visit us. 


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