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Veterans looking for work get well deserved boost

Here’s good news for veterans who are searching for a job.

A new pilot program in Minnesota is offering free hotel accommodations to veterans and their families while they’re conducting job searches outside of the region where they live. Governor Dayton’s office announced the program this week. It’s a partnership between Hilton Worldwide and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA).

This is a worthy effort that can make a big difference in helping military members land a job. Veterans should know about it and family members and friends of veterans should spread the word.

Under the program, veterans who are searching for employment, attending job interviews or skills training, or are looking for new housing in Minnesota, are eligible for three free nights at a Hilton hotel in Minnesota (the program is also available in Iowa, Texas and Arizona).

According to Hilton Worldwide, the average hotel stay in the Twin Cities metro area costs $200 per night. That means veterans who are eligible for free hotel accommodations can save up to $600 under the program.

“This program is an opportunity to show our support for Minnesota’s military veterans and thank them for their service,” said Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). “Looking for a job can be costly, and this effort will help offset some of the expenses that veterans face when they travel outside their home regions for job opportunities.”

The publicly-funded NASWA system serves nearly 2 million registered veterans annually, offering access to job openings, training and employment resources, according to Rich Hobbie, executive director of NASWA.

Here’s how the program works: Veterans traveling to Minnesota, or to a different region within the state to search for employment or housing, can access free hotel accommodations through the Hilton “HHonors” program. Veterans should contact their local Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialist to be enrolled in the program. Once enrolled, veterans are eligible for 100,000 HHonors points per year. For more information about the program, go to, or call 1-800-HHONORS.

While we’re on the topic, we also encourage businesses to show their support for those who have served our country by hiring veterans. The “Hire Heroes USA” non-profit organization offers some reasons why: Veterans have an accelerated learning curve; they understand practical ways to achieve goals in even the most trying circumstances; they know about teamwork and working together; they have the capacity to know to accomplish tasks on time; they have a unique perspective on the value of accountability and understand how policies and procedures yield stability, safety and productivity; they’re aware of international and technical trends that are pertinent to business; and veterans are individuals who have triumphed over adversity.

— Alexandria Echo Press