They fought for their country, but now many military veterans, who have returned home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are fighting to find jobs. But two local companies have teamed up to try and change that.
No one questions how well trained American soldiers are. But unfortunately for them that feeling doesn't transfer when they return to civilian life.
Esurance has formed a veterans group called EVETS to serve as a resource for veterans and their families. At a special ceremony, the company also discussed joining forces with Goodwill Industries to create programs within their companies to help returning veterans find work.
"A big thing I like to point out that the vet group is going to do is not only focus on helping veterans find jobs, we're also going to help them find careers," Esurance Vice-President Allen Meil said.
Nationally, the unemployment rate for veterans post 9/11 is a staggering 12 percent. In South Dakota, it's seven percent. Both companies say veterans display integrity, honesty and core values to get any job done.
"They perform well under pressure. You have a tight schedule, limited resources? Put a vet on it; they'll make it happen," director of services at Goodwill Industries Joan Haase said.
Congress is working on a couple of bills to help returning veterans who are unemployed get back on their feet. But U.S. Representative Kristi Noem, who was Tuesday's keynote speaker, applauds companies that are willing to go above and beyond.
"As long as we have vets who struggle to find work, struggle to get into a position that utilitzes every skill they have, there are lots of opportunities and organizations like Esurance and Goodwill to partner and work together to make sure they have those opportunities in front of them," Noem said.
If you're a veteran and are looking for work, find more information on the Esurance website.