While DAV | RecruitMilitary Veteran Job Fairs serve as a conduit linking veterans and their spouses with quality employment opportunities, the larger DAV network as a whole is also a valuable resource for job and resource-seeking veterans.
DAV life member and Army veteran Adam Kraft said the organization was instrumental in helping him find employment and begin his recovery from injuries incurred while deployed to Iraq. The service-connected disabled veteran, now a senior leader in an international technology firm, found success at a DAV | RecruitMilitary Veteran Job Fair in Irving, Texas in early 2016. “I am grateful for the DAV in helping me navigate through my multiple medical treatments prior to and after my eventual medical retirement out of the warrior transition program,” said Kraft.
One piece of advice Kraft gives fellow veteran job-seekers is to use the networks they built while in service.
“Augment that same network using veterans groups and [veteran service organizations] like DAV,” he said. “This allows you more exposure to employers but also allows you to help your fellow veterans in finding work.”
According to a summer 2016 article in Strategy + Business by Laura W. Geller, Kraft’s approach to leveraging the networks he built while in uniform often prove effective.
“Everyone has a social network,” Stanford University professor Dr. Adina Sterling was quoted as saying in the article. “You can think of it as the people that you know, your interactions with those individuals in terms of frequency and duration, and the way those people are connected to one another.”
Kraft noted DAV’s other services also impacted his journey to employment.
“Without the DAV I would not have known how to go through the VA system and Tri-Care to receive my life-saving devices that assist me to breathe and have some semblance of normalcy so I could be employable, and provide for my wife and young twins,” he said.
Kraft’s path to finding his job comes at a time when many fellow post-9/11 veterans are experiencing fluctuations in the job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Kraft’s generation of veterans went to 6.3 percent in January, up from 5.7 percent in December 2016.
This is higher than the rate of unemployment for non-veterans, which was at 4.8 percent.
“I’m glad our services were able to help Adam get his health on track and find a fulfilling job,” said DAV National Employment Director Jeff Hall. “In 2017, we’ll host 127 veteran job fairs along with 10-12 virtual events, and I look forward to continuing our mission of connecting disabled veterans with viable employment.”