Iowa City job fair targets helping veterans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City job fair targets helping veterans


For many of the service men and women who return home from duty, it's a different type of fight trying to land a job.

 "When you're overseas you know where you're going to lay your head at night and where the food's going to come from and where the money is, and being back, it's just harder with an unknown job market," said Brian Hart, a veteran from Waterloo.

Hart returned from his tour in Iraq in 2008 and is finishing school at UNI. He'll graduate in December and is hoping to get into insurance underwriting.

While the job market is tough, Hart has an edge over many of his peers from the Army because he'll enter the workforce with a bachelor's degree.

"More and more places that you didn't need a degree 20 years ago, you're going to need some more training, and the army can provide some of that depending on the field, but sometimes it doesn't transfer into all industries," Hart said.

Over the past several months 29 hundred service men and women returned home from the largest deployment of Iowa National Guard troops since World War II.  Many now are looking for work.

The transition into a less than ideal job market can be difficult. But Brenda Dodge of Iowa Works says locally she's seen a demand for veterans.

"Businesses are hiring.  They are looking for qualified candidates.  They're looking for people that have skills like veterans who have world experience," Dodge said.

That evidenced by the more than 50 businesses attending Thursday night's job fair in Iowa City.

"The veterans coming out here have a really unique skill set that we would love to bring in to our work environment," said Nate Scheib, of Yellowbook.

It's encouraging news for veterans like Hart, during what can be a very discouraging time.



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