According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s estimated that there are more than 200,000 Iraq-and Afghanistan-era veterans who are out of work and that number is growing. To counter this, agencies around the country and here in eastern Idaho are trying to show companies the value of hiring vets.
A recent study showed that there is a perceived bias among some of the top corporations in America toward veterans. Many fear that issues such as PTSD will cause problems in the workplace.
It’s estimated that between 5%-20% of the 1.6 million veterans who have served since 9/11 have PTSD. The Department of Veterans Affairs reports just 117,000 diagnosed cases. In comparison, there are roughly 7.7 million Americans who also suffer from this disorder because of non-combat events, such as rape, car wrecks, or other traumatic episodes.
Regardless of its cause, PTSD can easily be accommodated in the workplace with therapy and avoiding certain situations.
“It’s not really any different than someone who’s had a traumatic experience perhaps like in Boston yesterday,” said Teri Sackman, Employment Coordinator of H2H. “There will be people having PTSD from that experience and with a lot of support from employers, families, and the country in general, they’ll manage fine.”
The department of labor believes the benefits of hiring vets significantly outweigh the negative.
“Whether it’s veterans, members of the guard and reserve, anyone who’s had active duty military experience, they have a can do attitude,” said Sackman. “A lot of them have leadership skills. They show up to work on time. They’ll stay late. They understand teamwork. They also have a global perspective which is really important in today’s world.”