Rick Scott declares November “Hire a Veteran” month in Florida

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Since today is Veteran’s Day, what more appropriate announcement to make than proclaiming November Florida’s Hire a Veteran Month? That’s what Rick Scott is doing this week.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the CareerSource Florida are encouraging businesses and community leaders to tap the value in hiring veterans whose service in the U.S. armed forces have given them unique skills. Through their military service, veterans were taught leadership, maturity and dedication.

“As we continue to work to make Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation, we must take this time to recognize November as Hire a Veteran Month,” Scott said. “We know that veterans bring many benefits to employers because of their experiences and hard-working attitude. This Veterans Day, I encourage all Floridians to thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice while protecting our nation.”

Nearly 1.5 million veterans call Florida home making the Sunshine State the third largest home to veterans in the nation. The DEO and CareerSource work with veterans, military spouses and families to find meaningful employment. So far, the 24 regional workforce boards established by the two agencies have assisted in finding work for nearly 21,000 veterans.

“November is a great time to thank veterans for their service, and to recognize their value as employees. Veterans are well-trained, typically in highly technical jobs, have the soft skills employers are looking for, and are loyal. Through initiatives like Paychecks for Patriots and Hire a Veteran Month, DEO is dedicated to serving our veterans and making Florida the most veteran friendly state in the nation,” said DEO executive director Jess Panuccio.

Earlier this year, the DEO and CareerSource held their second Paychecks for Patriots event where 500 employers participated in 17 locations throughout the state. It’s not clear just yet how many vets were placed in jobs as a result of this year’s event, but in 2013 when less than half the number of employers participated, 500 vets secured jobs.

“Florida’s large and diverse veteran workforce is major competitive advantage in attracting and growing industry,” CareerSource Florida President Chris Hart IV said. “The CareerSource Florida network provides our veterans priority of service, and works closely with employers to match these talented, focused professionals with career opportunities that benefit their families and communities.”

Today, elected officials throughout the state are honoring veters. U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor spoke at a Veteran’s parade in Tampa earlier today and U.S. Representative David Jolly is spending the day with veterans in St. Petersburg with a special surprise he’s unveiling this afternoon.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.