ODJFS salutes former soldiers by helping them find jobs

By Cynthia Dungey - Guest columnist

Each year, Veterans Day reminds us of the sacrifices that the men and women in the Armed Forces have made to protect our values and freedoms. As Americans — and Ohioans — we owe them our respect and our admiration.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have military role models as family members. My great-grandfather, grandfather and brother all served in the military. For generations, family members have worried about their relatives in uniform. I am no exception. But what happens after their service concludes? At the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, we are there in their time of need to help them find a job.

One of the most beneficial resources we provide is OhioMeansVeteranJobs.com, which offers:

• Help translating military skills to civilian terms to build a resume.

• Help translating Military Occupation Search codes/titles to Ohio’s in-demand jobs.

• Help practicing interviewing skills.

• Help turning military training and experience into a professional license and/or certification.

• Help identifying military-friendly Ohio employers that provide hiring preferences or other benefits to veterans and their families.

• Help learning about resources and programs to start or grow a business.

• Help connecting to federal, state and local benefits through a veterans’ resource guide.

Perhaps the most promising aspect of the website is that veterans’ resumes rise to the top of the list when employers search for talent. Veterans are designated by a red, white and blue “V” beside their names. In fact, there are more than 115,000 veteran resumes posted on the website. Through this and other initiatives, Ohio provides priority service to the veterans and military service members who call Ohio home.

While veterans benefit from our assistance, so do employers. We help companies find talent through our Veterans Business Support Center. Within 24 to 48 hours of receiving a request, our workforce development staff members begin sending employers resumes of veterans looking for work. We provide customized assistance tailored to employers’ workforce needs, including recruiting, screening and interviewing veteran candidates.

ODJFS also processes applications for the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which can provide incentives of up to $9,600 for hiring a veteran who has a service-connected disability, is unemployed or meets other criteria. The old saying “money talks” should speak volumes to employers focused on the bottom line. This is a significant financial incentive to hire veterans.

As a member of Gov. John Kasich’s cabinet and director of ODJFS, I am duty-bound to help every Ohioan who is capable of work, including veterans, find jobs. I make that my mission every day. Whether our men and women in uniform are transitioning to civilian life or have previously separated from service, Ohio offers many benefits to help them and their families. We are thankful for their service and grateful we can help.


By Cynthia Dungey

Guest columnist

The writer has served as ODJFS director since October 2013.

The writer has served as ODJFS director since October 2013.