Web site aims to help Missouri veterans find jobs

Saturday, January 23, 2010 | 5:14 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — When Lt. Colonel Alan Rohlfing left active duty for the Missouri National Guard last summer, he had to look for a day job.

"That's when I started digging back in," he said. "For those that haven't been job hunting in the last few years it's changed a lot."

Rohlfing has been a guardsman and a civilian, an employer and an employee. He will use what he has learned in each of those roles in his new job directing the state's recently launched veteran hiring program, Show Me Heroes.

The Show Me Heroes program is designed to bring existing resources together to help connect veterans and employers.

The recently started Web site asks employers to pledge to hire veterans and will have a list of open jobs in each region. On Friday, there was one employer listed — the state — but Rohlfing said around 30 interested employers have contacted him. These include small businesses, fast-food restaurants and auto repair shops.

Rohlfing, who served in both the Active Guard and Reserve and traditional National Guard for over 24 years, said the program will help showcase veteran's unique skills such as discipline, work effort and security clearance.

"A lot of time employers are not consciously aware of those things," he said. "They're all things that could be an asset to an employer."

Rohlfing will be traveling the state talking with business owners, chambers of commerce and Rotary clubs. Businesses that hire veterans can be eligible for tax credits and other benefits.

The Internet site points veterans to the Missouri Career Source and career centers around the state that have veterans outreach programs.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon announced the veterans-job program in his State of the State speech last week.

"When I was in Iraq and Afghanistan last summer, the troops invariably asked me two questions, "How is (Albert) Pujols doing?" and "Will there be a job for me when I get home?'" Nixon said.

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