Showing posts with label unemployed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unemployed. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Congress targets VA unemployability again!

This is the part that gets me

The CBO suggested removing veterans from Individual Unemployability once they reach age 67, claiming those veterans would be eligible for Social Security by that time.
Without a clue that when a veteran cannot work, they are not paying into the system and cutting benefits will remove thousands from their budget, remove healthcare benefits that are cover them and remove any other benefits, like property taxes in most states, plus all the other things THEY WERE PROMISED THEY COULD TRUST! We do not see them taking back the tax breaks they gave the wealthy!


Group urges White House, VA to reject resurfaced proposal cutting disabled, unemployed veterans' benefits

Published: December 17, 2018 

WASHINGTON — A cost-saving proposal that sparked backlash from veterans in 2017 has resurfaced in a new Congressional Budget Office report as an option to help reduce the federal budget deficit.
The report suggests removing approximately 235,000 disabled veterans from a Department of Veterans Affairs program called Individual Unemployability in 2020, projecting it could save $47.6 billion in the next 10 years. Veterans removed from the program would see their monthly incomes decrease by an average of $1,300, according to CBO estimates.

One veterans group, AMVETS, is urging the White House and the VA to publicly disavow the proposal before it creates a groundswell of anger within the veteran community.

“We want the White House to immediately make a statement saying this recommendation is out of line and will not be considered,” said Joe Chenelly, director of AMVETS. “We understand that the White House is looking to trim costs, but this cannot be an option in that.”


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Florida lawmakers don't care unemployed got dis-Connect

Florida lawmakers have few plans to address unemployment website crisis
Miami Herald
March 13, 2014

TALLAHASSEE -- In early January, as Florida’s new $63 million unemployment website continued to struggle to pay claims on time, state lawmakers considered taking action.

Now in the second week of the 60-day legislative session, lawmakers are backing away from using their oversight powers to intervene with the Department of Economic Opportunity and the CONNECT project.

Instead it appears lawmakers are endorsing the agency’s handling of the crisis. On Wednesday, a Senate appropriations committee voted 11-0 to support confirmation of Jesse Panuccio as executive director of the DEO.

“I’m not just going to support you, I’m going to do everything I can in the process to make sure you get to the end,” committee chair Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, said to Panuccio, who must clear two more Senate committees and a floor vote to keep his $141,000 job. He started the job 15 months ago after a stint as Gov. Rick Scott’s general counsel.

No lawmakers have asked to study spending on the project or why it failed. They haven’t filed any bills that would address a requirement that they passed in 2011 forcing claimants to apply for weekly benefits online — which federal officials flagged last year as unconstitutional.
read more here

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

GOP constituents also depend on jobless aid

GOP constituents also depend on jobless aid
Associated Press
January 14, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — When federal emergency unemployment benefits expired last month, the effects ran deep in a Colorado county marked by two exit ramps off Interstate 25 — one leading to the conservative religious group Focus on the Family, the other to the Fort Carson Army post.

Hardly a liberal bastion, El Paso County has the largest number of people in the state who lost unemployment benefits, and many aren't happy about it. Plenty of Republicans, too, depend on jobless aid that Republicans in Congress are hesitant to prolong. The ideological argument for standing against an extension of benefits — that the aid can ultimately make it harder to find work — meets a more complex reality where people live.

Democrats propose to extend the emergency benefits for people who have been or are about to be out of work for more than six months; Republicans are less inclined to take that step, particularly if it means the government borrows more money. The paralysis led to the expiration of benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed on Dec. 28. Lawmakers are still working on a compromise.

The standoff infuriates people such as Lita Ness, who lost her job as a civilian contractor at Peterson Air Force Base in August 2012 and just received her final check from the unemployment office.

"I'm registered as a Republican, but if they continue to use this not extending our (aid) I'm probably changing to Democrat," Ness, 58, said as she took a break from a computer training class at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. "People in our district who vote 'No' on this, I'm not going to support them."
read more here

Friday, May 3, 2013

Soldier deployed to Afghanistan charged with unemployment fraud

Soldier deployed to Afghanistan charged with unemployment fraud
May. 3, 2013
Associated Press

OAKLAND, CALIF. — A former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer fired for escalating a confrontation with passengers that led to the slaying of an unarmed man has been charged with unemployment fraud.

Anthony Pirone is accused of collecting unemployment checks from the state for about seven months despite having a job, according to the Oakland Tribune. Pirone is serving in Afghanistan with the Army. His criminal case has been delayed until next year.
read more here

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley held blogger round table today

Today I had the pleasure of participating in a blogger round table with LIEUTENANT GENERAL JEFFREY W. TALLEY

While many topics regarding the Army Reserves were covered, there was a great point Tally made about putting these Reservists back to work.

Reservists are an asset to any company for many reasons. One is that they are usually a lot more mature than their peers. They are ready to work and they show up for their "civilian duties" as much as they show up ready for their military duties.

They are usually more physically fit and highly trained. They bring their skills and professional attitudes to work with them.

Another point Talley raised is that they usually get a year's notice about deployments, so that gives employers plenty of time to find someone to take their place while they are gone, removing any thoughts that they will just get orders to go and leave them scrambling to replace them.

A reporter from Politico asked

What are the challenges the Reserve face?

Sequestration is not something they have to worry about.
Force reductions in active component;the Army Reserves are in pretty good shape.
206,000 only to be reduced by 1,000.
Technical skills are in the Reserves so that they will always be needed.

These two subjects have worried employers and Reservist alike, so this was welcomed news.

We talked about how active duty service members can transition well into the Army Reserves and they welcome them.

Reserves want mid career and NCO, experienced soldiers to join.
Transaction sites focus on recruiting and retention. Get in touch with Army Reserve Councilors.

We talked about the subject that is my area. Combat PTSD, suicides and families. What impressed me most about Tally was that he gave his opinion, told me what was going on but had no problem admitting there were things he did not know. This was unique for a man in his position. I sent him an email about what I hear on this end of deployments and the lives of our veterans.

To the Moms out there that have been contacting me about their sons/daughters, there is hope. He is not reluctant when it comes to asking questions and wanted to be filled in. He has a great attitude on top of everything else and it was easy to hear how much he really does care in his voice.

I've been involved in a lot of conference calls, usually left feeling as if I just wasted my time, hanging up more depressed than when I dialed. I am happy to report this was not one of the usual, more of the same.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Reasons to always read from more than one source

This is a typical reason to make sure you read more than one source on a story.

Scott says Florida leads the nation in cutting its unemployment rate
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 4:04 by admin

Gov. Rick Scott said today that Florida has led the nation in reducing its unemployment rate since December 2010 _ the month before Scott became governor.

Based on the latest state-by-state employment statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, Florida’s unemployment rate in July stood at 8.8 percent, a 0.2 percent rise from the previous month but a 2.3 percent drop from the December 2010 rate of 11.1 percent.

Previously, Scott had touted the fact that Florida had the “second” highest decline behind Michigan since December 2010. But Michigan’s July unemployment rate jumped up 0.4 percent last month, allowing Florida to claim the spot for the largest decline in that period. Based on the July numbers, Michigan’s rate has declined 2.2 percent since December 2010, putting it in second place.

“Overall, Florida’s long-term trend is positive,” Scott said in a statement. “Florida companies have added 130,300 more private sector jobs than we had in December 2010. We are focused on making Florida the best place to grow private-sector jobs.”
read more here
Sounds great but when you read about what else is going on Scott doesn't want to talk about you discover what sounds good, usually isn't good for everyone.

Thousands frustrated by Florida's new unemployment compensation laws
Miami Herald

When 65-year-old Raymond Togyer isn’t polishing his resume or cold calling potential employers, he’s spending hours trying, unsuccessfully, to navigate Florida’s labyrinthine unemployment compensation system.

Togyer — who was laid off for the first time in his adult life from a high-paying civil engineering job in June — has spent the last seven weeks sending and resending letters, staying on hold for hours and checking state websites, all to no avail.

He is one of hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Floridians flummoxed by what has become the most tightfisted unemployment compensation system in the nation.
read more here

The other example of this is when you hear some Democrats talkers on radio gleefully talking about the hurricane heading into Florida during the GOP convention. Do they stop to think about what a hurricane means to the people living in Florida? Do they think about the members of the National Guards ready to once again put their lives on the line in case they are needed to save us? Do they think about the police, firefighters and emergency responders, doctors or nurses ready to spend days on end taking care of the wounded?

I moved into Central Florida right before Charlie, Francis and Jeanne hit in 2004. Talking about Isaac hitting Tampa means a lot of lives will be on the line with a lot of extra people taking up hotel rooms because of the convention the displaced will need if their homes are destroyed. Most of them live in mobile home parks and will have to evacuate them to be as safe as possible. These guests of Florida will not know what to expect with hurricane force winds and it is really shameful anyone would get a "kick" out of this happening.

The other side is just as bad. This is what Rush Limbaugh said.

Rush Limbaugh blames Obama for Hurricane Isaac
Published: 23 August, 2012

What did the one giant, detestable blob of hot air say about the other? If you managed to catch conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s Wednesday morning rant about Hurricane Isaac, you may already know.

During Wednesday morning’s broadcast of Limbaugh’s nationally syndicated radio show, the legendary host called attention to the tropical storm slated to hit Florida next week right at the same time that Republicans from across the United States are expected to scurry down south for the GOP National Convention.
read more here

Here is another example since we keep seeing the ads put out against President Obama topped off with the speeches being given from the Romney/Ryan team.

Medicaid plan would transform health care in Florida
By William E. Gibson
Orlando Sentinel
Washington Bureau
August 22, 2012

WASHINGTON – Florida'sfast-growing Medicaid program -- which cares for the state's impoverished children and for most senior citizens in nursing homes -- would lose roughly a third of its federal money under budget plans embraced by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan.

The Ryan plan would cut Medicaid nationwide by $810 billion over 10 years and reduce Florida's allotment by $35 billion by 2022 -- about one-third less than current projected spending -- according to an analysis by Families USA, a nonpartisan advocacy group for health-care consumers. An Urban Institute study found similar results: a 31-percent cutback for Florida by 2021.

The biggest impact may be on those who seek nursing-home care.

About 60 percent of Florida's nursing-home patients – 77,239 in fiscal 2010 -- rely on Medicaid. The cost that year was $2.7 billion, 13 percent of the Medicaid budget, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

"Many would be left out in the cold," said Brian Lee, executive director of Families for Better Care, an advocacy group in Tallahassee for nursing-home residents. "If nursing homes are not getting paid, they aren't going to take them. So it could be a desperate time for potential residents."
read more here

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

While some companies hire veterans HP cutting 25,000 workers

The push is on for companies to take the breaks from the government to hire veterans but HP is cutting 25,000 workers.

HP prepares to announce mass layoffs
By David Goldman and Michal Lev-Ram @CNNMoneyTech
May 23, 2012

Hewlett-Packard will lay off around 25,000 employees, but that may not help it fix its core problems.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Hewlett-Packard will announce another round of substantial job cuts Wednesday afternoon in an effort to streamline its teetering PC and services businesses, a source familiar with the plans told Fortune.

The layoffs will be "in the ballpark" of 25,000 workers, the source said, which would amount to about 7% of HP's global workforce. The nation's largest technology company by revenue currently employs 349,600 people worldwide, according to its latest regulatory filing.
read more here

Monday, July 19, 2010

Record suicide rates highest with jobless, middle-aged

Record suicide rates highest with jobless, middle-aged
By Chris Bergeron/Daily News staff
The MetroWest Daily News
Posted Jul 19, 2010 @ 12:00 AM
Over the last year a "record breaking" number of people, including more middle-aged men and women, called the Samaritans suicide prevention hot line, a trend site director Eileen Davis attributes to the current recession.

She said the Framingham and Boston centers of Samaritans Inc. fielded 132,000 calls between July 2009 and June 2010, up from 119,000 calls over the same period the prior year. Davis said the "biggest age group of callers" was men and women from 45 to 54 years old.

"Sadly, we're seeing definite increases in all age groups. But we believe we're getting more calls from people in their 40s and 50s who've been most affected by the downturn in jobs, housing and medical coverage," she said.

Davis' observation echoes a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that men and women between 45 and 54 years old have the highest suicide rates in the country among nine different age groups.

Titled " U.S.A. Suicide: 2007 Official Final Data," the CDC report documents a steady increase in suicides for 45- to 54-year-old men and women over a 10-year-period. In 2007, the last year in which national data was available, 17.7 people out of 100,000 in that age group committed suicide.
read more here
Record suicide rates highest with jobless middle aged

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sen. Jim Bunning prevented unemployment extension for over a million laid off workers

Jobless benefits start ending on Sunday
By Tami Luhby, senior writer
February 26, 2010: 3:55 PM ET

NEW YORK ( -- Depending on extended unemployment benefits to see you through the Great Recession?

You'd better not: The Senate failed to push back the Feb. 28 deadline to apply for this safety net.

Starting Monday, the jobless will no longer be able to apply for federal unemployment benefits or the COBRA health insurance subsidy.

Federal unemployment benefits kick in after the basic state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. During the downturn, Congress has approved up to an additional 73 weeks, which it funds.

These federal benefit weeks are divided into tiers, and the jobless must apply each time they move into a new tier.

Because the Senate did not act, the jobless will now stop getting checks once they run out of their state benefits or current tier of federal benefits.

That could be devastating to the unemployed who were counting on that income. In total, more than one million people could stop getting checks next month, with nearly 5 million running out of benefits by June, according to the National Unemployment Law Project.

Lawmakers repeatedly tried to approve a 30-day extension this week, but each time, Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., prevented the $10 billion measure from passing, saying it needs to be paid for first.
go here for more

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jobless rate at 11.2% for veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan

Jobless rate at 11.2% for veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan

By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The economic downturn is hitting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans harder than other workers — one in nine are now out of work — and may be encouraging some troops to remain in the service, according to Labor Department records and military officials.
The 11.2% jobless rate for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who are 18 and older rose 4 percentage points in the past year. That's significantly higher than the corresponding 8.8% rate for non-veterans in the same age group, says Labor Department economist Jim Walker.

Army records show the service has hit 152% of its re-enlistment goal this year. "Obviously the economy plays a big role in people's decisions," says Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, an Army spokesman.

Some soldiers are re-enlisting specifically because of the poor civilian job market, says Sgt. 1st Class Julius Kelley, a career counselor at Fort Campbell, Ky. "It's job security (in the Army), and I try to sell that all the time," he says. "You don't have to worry about getting laid off in the Army."

The market is tough outside the Army. Unemployment among the youngest of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, those ages 20 to 24, reached 15% in February, records show.
go here for more

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bank bail out didn't include 200 laid off workers and they fight back

UPDATE 12/8/08

Governor, Obama back workers' 'occupation'
Workers at a Chicago, Illinois, window factory knew something was up when machines from the plant would disappear during weekends. After the abrupt layoff announcement last week, about 200 workers staged a "peaceful occupation" and insisted they get the 60-days of severance they are due. President-elect Obama threw his support behind them, and today the Illinois governor followed suit. full story

Remember all the money that was supposed to free up the credit? The money tax payers have to fund? Looks like all that money did not include the worders at Republic Windows and the money they thought they were promised when they worked for the company and did their jobs. Nice work Bank of America. Tax payers take care of banks, pay interest on loans and then have to kick in to help them stay in business but when it comes to doing what that money was supposed to go to, they forget about that.
Laid-off workers won't leave window factory
Republic Windows & Doors shut its doors Friday, but more than 200 workers reportedly refused to leave the North Side manufacturer, demanding assurances they'll get severance and vacation pay that they are owed.

Carrying signs that read "Bank of America: Don't Steal Christmas," workers at a North Side manufacturer continued their protest today after the company shut its doors on three days' notice because the bank canceled its line of credit.

Republic Windows & Doors closed Friday after being in business since 1965. Members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, which represents 260 workers at the company's Goose Island plant, have taken shifts at a sit-in at the plant, 1333 N. Hickory Ave., since Friday.

The union said the bank is not letting the company pay workers their vacation and severance pay. In addition, the union said they were not given 60 days' notice of a mass layoff, as required by federal law.

"They're throwing people out on the street with three days' notice, penniless," said Leah Fried, an organizer with United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers.

The company told employees Tuesday that its main lender, Bank of America, had canceled its line of credit because of a severe downturn in business at the plant.
click link for more

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New homeless: families in bind

New homeless: families in bind
By Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

ST. PETERSBURG — Ethan Hite sits on the twin bed he shares with his 2-year-old brother and cuts coupons for PlayStation games.

"Can I have these two games for Christmas?" the 7-year-old calls to his mother. "This one is $10 and this one is $7."

Mary Hite, her husband and their three children live in an efficiency apartment in a homeless shelter. Neither parent has a full-time job.

But Mary Hite doesn't tell her oldest any of that. She tucks the coupons into her pocket and embraces him.

The Hites are among the Tampa Bay area's fastest-growing homeless population: parents and children.

Area shelter directors, homeless advocates, government officials and child welfare agencies say the rising unemployment rate, the sluggish housing market and the spiraling economy have forced an unprecedented number of families out of their homes.

And these officials aren't sure what to do about it. Limited social service funding, a dearth of affordable housing and a homeless assistance system designed for single men — the largest homeless demographic — make catering to families difficult.

"It has emerged as the next crisis in terms of housing," Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch said.

Numbers are hard to come by, but the overwhelming anecdotal evidence has pushed advocates for the homeless into action.
go here for more

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's traumatic to lose your job

Job losses mount
The government reported more grim news about the economy today, saying employers cut 240,000 jobs in October -- bringing the year's total job losses to 1.2 million, CNNMoney reports. According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent from 6.1 percent in September. It was the highest unemployment rate since March 1994. developing story

The unemployment rate keeps going up and according to this CNN report, it's the highest rate since 1994. I remember what it was like to lose my job. Shocking!

I worked for a Presbyterian Church as the Administrator of Christian Education. It was the perfect job for me. My faith is a big part of my life. Aside from the fact I'm Greek Orthodox, raised in the Orthodox doctrine, there really isn't that much that is different between the two branches and it wasn't that hard to be able to fit in with them. I just went to my own church for the Holy Days. I loved my job! I was there for two years. The job provided me with the part time income I needed and a lot of joy because I love kids and there is a preschool there. Twice a week, the youth pastor and I held chapel with the preschoolers. We sang and danced with the joy of praising the Lord. It was wonderful.

On my daughter's 20 birthday, I was supposed to have my employment review. I thought I was getting a raise. I ended up being told the job was being eliminated. I had to clean out my office and leave. I didn't even have a chance to say goodbye to the kids or most of the people I loved.

It took a month to begin to get over it. For the first couple of weeks, I mostly cried. Yes, I know I was posting at the same time, but while the church was my job, PTSD has been my life for 26 years now. Doing this work is the reason my husband and I moved to Florida so that I could work part-time for a check and be able to do this the rest of the time. I was devastated. I worked hard for the church and was devoted to it.

I spent most of the time wondering what I had done wrong, blaming myself and worrying about what I was supposed to do for income. Working for a church, which is tax exempt, I was not allowed to collect unemployment. The church didn't pay into the system. That was in January and I am still officially unemployed as of today.

In March I became a Chaplain with the IFOC. That cost me some money and so has the traveling I've been doing with PTSD. While I am a Senior Chaplain, certified, insured and ordained, I couldn't find a job with the fire department as a Chaplain because they had a lot of budget cuts and layoffs as well. The VA won't hire me because I do not have a degree but probably know more about PTSD than most of the Chaplains they have. After all, 26 years experience plus living with it does tend to provide a higher degree of knowledge than just college. They would not even consider me, not even as a part time Chaplain.

I'm as they say, out of luck. I cannot give up the work I do, especially making the videos or going around talking to people, going for training and conferences, which all has me deeply involved on a daily basis. So what do I do? I pray and try to make it from one day to the next.

I am not counted as "unemployed" because I did not get a check. There are a lot of people just like me out there. Once you run out of benefits, or cannot get them in the first place, you drop off the count. As bad as the figures are on unemployment, they are really higher. I often wonder if the people who made a bundle off all of this ever let their conscience bother them? Do they know what they did to people who worked hard and did the right things but were not even considered when ax came down and jobs were cut? I know it bothered some people but too many just never really cared as long as it was not happening to them.

My brother got laid off a week before he passed away. He had a highly paid job in construction with a big, beautiful house and mortgage to pay. He had a massive heart attack less than a week after he lost his job.

There is a lot of suffering out there far beyond what the media reports on. It's almost as if the numbers they report about the unemployed never really make them think of the people who are the numbers, what stories they have and how much suffering they are going thru from financial stress to emotional stress. It would be great if they began to report on the people so that maybe, just maybe, some people in this country will understand people like and my brother didn't do anything wrong, did a good job, but ended up suffering all the same.

PS: If you know anyone in the Orlando area in need of Chaplain specializing in PTSD education, please let me know.

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

Friday, July 18, 2008

Florida lost 78,100 jobs in last 12 months, including mine!

Florida lost 78,100 jobs in last 12 months
Aaron Deslatte | Sentinel Staff Writer
10:46 AM EDT, July 18, 2008
TALLAHASSEE - Florida led the nation with a loss of 78,100 jobs over the last 12 months, with June's 5.5 percent unemployment rate continuing this year's trend of monthly job losses as the hangover from the state's housing construction binge continues to linger.

The numbers equate to roughly 508,000 unemployed out of a workforce of more than 9.2 million and mirror the national unemployment average. But while the national job numbers edged upward in June, Florida's headed in the opposite direction, down 1 percent.

May's employment numbers have also been adjusted. Unemployment was now gauged at 5.6 percent, equaling the largest percentage of the workforce to be unemployed since October 2002.

click post title for more

I'm not counted because I worked for a church and they didn't pay into unemployment because they are tax exempt. I worked there for 2 years and couldn't collect.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Many veterans finding difficulty finding work

Many finding difficulty finding work
07/01/2008, 9:47 am
Andrea Zelinski,, 217-525-8207
Tyler Carroll uses what he learned in the military every day.
Carroll, a 27-year-old Afghanistan veteran from Rock Island, spent five months carrying out missions like taking control of airfields and capturing top terrorist lieutenants.

Now he's securing crime scenes and arresting troublemakers as a police officer in Burlington, Iowa.

Carroll came home from Afghanistan in 2002 knowing exactly where he wanted to take his career. But many veterans aren't immediately following through after they come home from war, according to a report the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published in September.

Those who try often have trouble finding quality work.

Here's what the Department of Veterans Affairs found:

18 percent of recently separated servicemen and women are unemployed.
One in four who land a job make less than $10.50 an hour or $21,840 a year.
Those with four-year college degrees earned $9,500 less than their civilian counterparts.

Amidst the already grim look of the U.S. and state economy, job prospects for Iraq War veterans are slimming as many struggle to relate their unique war experience to well-paying jobs, according to the study.

go here for more

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Closing veterans centers now is insane!

I cannot believe this one!

Lawrence center for veterans may close
Operating funds are slashed N.E. lawmakers to launch probe
By Bryan Bender
Globe Staff / March 5, 2008
WASHINGTON - A center in Lawrence that helps veterans start their own businesses warned yesterday that it will have to close its doors because of a lack of funds, prompting two New England lawmakers to launch a probe into the federally funded nonprofit organization that had been financing it.

The Northeast Veterans Business Resource Center has provided night classes and other training to more than 3,000 veterans since it was established in 2004, including an Internet course for members of the Massachusetts National Guard serving in Iraq.

But its funding was recently pulled by the Washington charity established and funded by Congress in 1999 to enhance business opportunities for veterans.

"I had to lay off my staff of three, and, if I don't get some funds, I won't be able to pay the rent this month," Louis J. Celli, president of the Lawrence center and a retired Army master sergeant, told the Globe yesterday.

The center, located on Merrimack Street, does not make a profit and relies on annual federal funds and donations to run its operations, which include courses in computers, resource management, writing proposals, and communication skills. It is one of three such centers across the country.

Another of the centers, which is located in St. Louis, also announced yesterday that it would have to shut down by next month, while the third center, located in Flint, Mich., has also had its operating funds slashed.

Walter G. Blackwell - president of the National Veterans Business Development Corporation, which has funded the centers in the past - said yesterday that it had received only $1.4 million of the $3.7 million it had requested from Congress for this year.

Blackwell said the corporation may also have to close down if it is unable to locate additional funding.

The prospect of losing the three centers has raised the ire of influential lawmakers who believe they provide a critical resource to thousands of veterans, including those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, who are seeking to become financially self-sufficient.

Senator John F. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Senator Olympia Snowe, Republican of Maine, announced yesterday that the Small Business Committee, of which Kerry is the chairman, would formally investigate the organization's management.

"The Veterans Corporation was established to create a network of these centers," Kerry said in an interview. "They have by all appearances not done that."
go here for the rest

How could anyone in their right mind think that cutting funds to help veterans get jobs after they served this country is not worth funding? Is this more of the same they have received from this administration telling them they are not worth the money it takes to get them back on their feet after they served and are no longer "serving" the nation? What the hell kind of message do they think the veterans are getting from this kind of stunt?

Survey Shows Veterans’ Unemployment Lower Than Nonveterans

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced in May the results of the Biennial Employment Situation of Veterans survey (as of August 2005), which showed the overall veterans’ unemployment rate is lower than that of nonveterans. The veterans’ survey is published once every two years as a supplement to BLS’s monthly Current Population Survey.

“The report shows that, overall, the employment of America’s veterans is strong,” said Charles Ciccolella, assistant secretary of labor for Veterans Employment and Training. “In August 2005, the veterans’ unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, 0.8 percent lower than that of nonveterans. On an annual basis, veterans’ unemployment was 4 percent in 2005, which is 0.6 percent below that of nonveterans.”

There is one age group of veterans—20-to-24-year-olds—where the unemployment rate is higher than that of nonveterans of the same age group. In August 2005, those veterans had an unemployment rate of 18.7 percent compared with their nonveteran counterparts. For all of 2005, the annual rate was 15.6 percent for 20-to-24-year-old veterans compared with 8.7 percent for nonveterans in that age group.
The U.S. Department of Labor has undertaken initiatives to address the situation, said Ciccolella. The department conducts transition assistance employment workshops for members of the military who are scheduled for discharge in addition to other programs. For more information on all of these programs go to

From May 2007 Boston Globe
(John Kerry) The Massachusetts Democrat, who chairs the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, is scheduled to unveil the bill along with a report on the economic difficulties facing returning veterans, especially members of the Reserve and National Guard who have put their civilian jobs on hold for repeated deployments.
The study by Kerry's committee staff, based on government data, found that 11.9 percent of recently discharged veterans are unemployed, compared with 4.6 percent of nonveterans; it found that 18 percent of 18-to 24-year-old veterans are out of work, double the rate of their nonveteran counterparts. Meanwhile, an estimated 40 percent of reservists lose income when called up, while the rate is even higher, 55 percent, for reservists who are self-employed, according to the report. At the same time, the share of small-business loans going to veterans from the largest federal program has dropped from 11 percent to 9 percent since 2001.

While National Guardsmen come back after being deployed again and again, what we keep forgetting is that they leave their jobs in order to go. They leave their businesses in order to serve. At a time like this when too many people are out of work, closing one of these centers is just pure evil!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

When will government work for the veterans with PTSD?

Bad economy and bad PR hurting veterans

“The issue of mental health has turned into a double-edged sword for returning veterans. More publicity has generated more public awareness and federal funding for those who return home different from when they left. However, more publicity — especially stories that perpetuate the ‘Wacko Vet’ myth — has also made some employers more cautious to hire a veteran,” said Joe Davis, spokesman for Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Study: Job market hard on recently discharged

By Hope Yen - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Feb 7, 2008 19:42:42 EST

Strained by war, recently discharged veterans are having a harder time finding civilian jobs and are more likely to earn lower wages for years due partly to employer concerns about their mental health and overall skills, a government study says.

The Department of Veterans Affairs report, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, points to continuing problems with the Bush administration’s efforts to help 4.4 million troops who have been discharged from active duty since 1990.

The 2007 study by the consulting firm Abt Associates Inc. found that 18 percent of the veterans who sought jobs within one to three years of discharge were unemployed, while one out of four who did find jobs earned less than $21,840 a year. Many had taken advantage of government programs such as the GI Bill to boost job prospects, but there was little evidence that education benefits yielded higher pay or better advancement.

The report blamed the poor prospects partly on inadequate job networks and lack of mentors after extended periods in war, and said employers often had misplaced stereotypes about veterans’ fitness for employment, such as concerns they did not possess adequate technological skills, or were too rigid, lacked education or were at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder.

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They need a great PR firm. Educating the veterans and their families on what PTSD is and getting them into treatment cannot take a back seat. It's that simple. The problem is, while the government is finally, slowly being responsible enough to start to take care of them, the media is hugely responsible for this happening and they should be applauded, not blamed.

The problem is that the government has done very little to educate the general population on PTSD as well. How else can they view the returning forces after all these years of stress and trauma after trauma? What people do not understand is that there are many who come back fine. Others with PTSD are not suddenly so damaged they cannot work for a living. There are many of them with mild PTSD causing them sleep problems and edginess but their symptoms can be controlled with medication and therapy. While there are many who will never be able to work again, even they can lead productive lives.

We have a nation of people with PTSD and not all of them are veterans. What is the next excuse they use to not hire people? Are they going to give out a questionnaire asking them about every traumatic event in their lives and then say "sorry but your too unstable to hire?"

I really think aside from the lack of education on PTSD, there is something more serious under all of this. My gut is telling me that it's the redeployments issue is the biggest factor. If they hire someone, especially a National Guardsman or Reservists, what are the chances they will get redeployed? Pretty high right? If they get redeployed, their job has to be held open. In a weak job market you have lines of people waiting to apply to Wal-Mart, so it's very unlikely they will hire a veteran who may have to go back. With stop loss, that is another problem. You have so many who think they are done serving only to get orders to go back in. This is not helpful to an employer.

Two ways to get around this: Educate the public on what PTSD is and what it is not. Let the veterans collect unemployment until they can find a job. After all, they were doing their jobs when they went to Iraq and Afghanistan and now they can't find work. Bush can make sure he always finds the money for both occupations and to pay the contractors but has a huge problem when it comes to taking care of the men and women he sends. It's time Congress took this all seriously.