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Governor Mark Dayton proclaims July "Hire a Veteran Month" in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, MN — Lt. Governor Tina Smith provided remarks at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development's (DEED) annual Minnesota Veterans Career Fair in Bloomington.

The Veterans Career Fair connected nearly 200 employers with approximately 1,000 former and current military members. Governor Mark Dayton also issued a proclamation declaring the month of July to be "Hire a Veteran Month" in Minnesota.

Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith encourage all Minnesota employers to help connect military service members with employment opportunities during the month of July, and to continue hiring veterans throughout the year.

"Minnesotans are grateful for the service of the nearly 370,000 veterans who live here. And veterans make exceptional employees. The State of Minnesota offers excellent employment and educational services to help veterans find good jobs," said Lt. Governor Smith. "During 'Hire a Veteran Month,' and every month, I encourage Minnesota employers to look for ways to hire talented and experienced Minnesota veterans."

The Minnesota Veterans Career Fair focused exclusively on connecting veterans and military service members with employment opportunities. This is the eleventh year DEED has hosted a Veterans Career Fair. On average about 40 percent of employers ultimately hire someone they met at the Veterans Career Fair.

"Veterans are a critical part of Minnesota's workforce," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. "As the demand for skilled workers in our state continues to rise, it is important that we tap into this existing workforce pool to make sure all Minnesota veterans have access to quality, meaningful employment."

Connecting Veterans with Employment Opportunities

"Hire a Veteran Month," including the Veterans Career Fair today, is part of a broader effort by the Dayton-Smith Administration to help Minnesota veterans find meaningful, good-paying work. Through recruitment and retention efforts, relationships with veterans organizations and advocates, support for deployed soldiers and their families, and reintegration training, Minnesota is getting our veterans back to work — one soldier at a time.

The Dayton-Smith Administration also is working to connect veterans here at home with employment opportunities. In 2012, Governor Dayton signed a bill into law allowing private employers to implement their own veterans' preference programs. DEED services for job-seekers serve more than 20,000 veterans every year. Together, these efforts are aimed at providing Minnesota veterans the help they need to find strong employment opportunities.

Resources for Veteran Job Seekers

Minnesota veterans and military service members who are currently searching for a job can benefit from the following initiatives and resources:

DEED Veterans Services — DEED provides specialized staff to assist eligible veterans with employment services to help them prepare for, find, and keep a job — no matter their era of service. This one-stop website provides information and resources for all Minnesota veterans who are seeking employment, including tips on how to find a job, a list of career events for veterans, employment services, and more. Additionally, if you are an employer seeking to hire a veteran, visit this website designed for Minnesota employers.

Minnesota Workforce Centers (WFC) — Veterans seeking employment are encouraged to visit their local Workforce Center. All veterans of all ages and service eras receive Priority of Service in all Minnesota WFC's. Each center has staff that can provide one-on-one assistance in job searches, provide guidance on resume and cover letter writing, conduct mock interviews, and provide referrals to support services. Each year, Minnesota Workforce Centers serve approximately 20,000 Minnesota veterans. A list of Minnesota Workforce Centers is available here. Veterans can also find their local Workforce Center by calling (888) 213-1422.

MinnesotaWorks — is a website facilitated by DEED. Veterans can post their resumes there, and identify themselves as veterans so it is easier for employers to find them. Employers can post their open positions at this site at no cost, and can identify themselves as veteran friendly employers, so that veterans can easily find them.

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) — The MDVA has a website dedicated to helping Minnesota veterans connect to employment resources. The website also has links and helpful information for employers that want to hire veterans, as well as information about on-the-job training and apprenticeships, state veterans preference laws, and tips for veterans who own businesses.

Yellow Ribbon Company Program — Throughout Minnesota, companies and corporations are making a commitment to military service members and veterans. The Yellow Ribbon Company Program is one example of how Minnesota companies go above and beyond. This program allows companies to make a formal and meaningful commitment to hiring veterans. More information about the Yellow Ribbon Company Program can be found here.