Larson helps roll out new program to help Connecticut vets find jobs

Washington — Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, is helping implement a new type of meet up for Connecticut’s veterans.

It’s all about matching the right unemployed veteran with the right job, he said.

“Veterans’ job fairs are good, but the feedback we get is that they are not focused,” said Larson.

The Veterans Job Match is a state effort that makes use of federal veterans job benefits.

Veterans who want to participate in the program will submit resumes, then meet with designated employers for “speed interviews” at centers across Connecticut.

Veterans will be steered to certain employers who need their particular set of skills. Those who lack a needed skill will get help in finding training or additional education from the Connecticut State Department of Education and other state agencies.

“This is the right thing to do,” Larson said. “Nothing is moving in Washington and everybody is looking for jobs.”

Employers participating in the Veterans Job Match will be limited to manufacturers and trades like construction and plumbing. Prospective employers can take advantage of certain federal incentives to hire vets, including the $5,600 tax credit offered for hiring a veteran of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Hiring a wounded vet allows a company to claim a $9,600 tax credit.

The job match will launch Friday at the Heroes for Hire Job Fair at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

The Connecticut Department of Labor and the state’s Chamber of Commerce are involved in the program. The U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Veteran Affairs support the program.

The veterans’ employment program is modeled after the Connecticut Manufacturing Job Match Initiative that was inaugurated in the state in November and aims to help unemployed civilians find manufacturing jobs.

Larson thinks the Veterans Job Match will be a model for the nation.

“It’s a unique program, and I think it will get national attention,” he said.