Editor’s note: During her trip to Hawaii this week, Acting Assistant Secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training Terry Gerton offers her observations and insights from the trip.
July 7, 2015 - This week, I’m traveling with Secretary Perez in Hawaii for a series of events focusing on veterans’ employment. Hawaii holds an important place in the history of our military. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that ignited our war in the Pacific during World War II stands out as one of the darkest moments in our history, with more than 2,400 of our bravest perishing in the attack. Yet our military presence there dates back to 1898. Today, every branch of the military has a base on the island of Oahu, which means “gathering place.” There are more than 50,000 active duty military personnel in the state and 100,000 veterans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is also the home of PACOM – the United States Pacific Command – which is responsible for an area that includes more than half of the world’s population.
So, yes, we’re lucky to be spending a few days in paradise, but our work in Hawaii is of profound importance. The veteran unemployment rate here, at an average of 5.1 percent in 2014, sits below the national average, but our work doesn’t end until all of our veterans have opportunity to succeed in the civilian labor force and contribute to our growing economy.
Here, some of my thoughts and observations on what we’re doing and who we’re meeting, along with some the critical resources the department has available to help match veterans to good jobs: read more>>>