Paycheck for Patriots brings Job-Seeking Veterans, Employers together

Governor Rick Scott declared Friday, May 10 the first annual Paychecks for Patriots Day in Florida. As part of the statewide initiative, FloridaWorks hosted the Gainesville location, which attracted more than 145 veterans and their eligible dependents. There were 10 events held across the state.

FloridaWorks was able to bring veterans in Alachua and Bradford counties together with participating employers with current job openings. Unemployed and underemployed veterans arrived at the Freedom Community Center at Kanapaha Veteran’s Memorial Park to meet with hiring employers.

“[Paychecks for Patriots] turns the job-matching spotlight towards our veterans and their eligible dependents,” said Kim Tesch-Vaught, executive director of FloridaWorks. “On this day and every day, our Veteran Services team at FloridaWorks works in partnership with local support organizations to ensure our service members has the support they need for their job search.”

All 17 employers in attendance had current openings, and many employers conducted on-site interviews or scheduled interviews the following week. Employers included Red Vision, Capital City Bank, Infinite Energy and Comfort Keepers. Major employers recruiting locally included Dollar General, Nationwide Insurance and the Wal-Mart Distribution Center. Click here for more information on employers that attended.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), DVA, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and the Florida National Guard partnered with Dollar General to bring the veterans hiring events throughout the state. Dollar General first launched the Paychecks for Patriots initiative in Tennessee in October 2012.

“The Paychecks for Patriots initiative is another reason Florida is the most veteran-friendly state in the nation,” said DVA Executive Director Mike Prendergast in a May 8, DEO press release. Nearly 250,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans call Florida home, Prendergast added.

FloridaWorks offers an array of veteran services at its One-Stop Career Centers, including individual skills assessment, employment counseling, job development contacts, resume assistance and more. For more information on FloridaWorks veteran services, visit www.FloridaWorksOnline.com.