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Cincinnati businesses ramp up military veteran recruiting

Ann Thompson

Greater Cincinnati companies, including Total Quality Logistics (TQL), GE, US Bank and Horseshoe Casino, are learning to better recruit, hire and retain local veterans.

A military publication, Stars and Stripes, reports nationwide, the number of unemployed veterans is up 150,000 in four months. A new local effort involving Easter Seals TriState, and the Dixon Center is designed to get veterans the help they need, be it housing, education or a job.

The director of Easter Seals TriState Veteran Services, Capt. Tim Duening, U.S. Navy Ret. says, "the most important thing for returning military veterans, psychologically and economically is employment."

The panel discussion, convened Monday at United Way in Cincinnati, was designed to educate human resources employees on how to better recruit, hire and retain returning veterans. Retired Col. David Sutherland, now with the Dixon Center, says America wants to help but often times doesn't know how. "We are seeing this constant 2-lane highway where the veterans are going one direction and the American people the other."

TQL is now specifically targeting veterans. Matthew Disher holds the new title of military recruitment specialist. "All along we've been doing this anyway. We've been hiring these folks and trying to get them in the door because they make a solid employee. It's a win-win for both."

Consultant Elizabeth Belcaster says if companies are looking for veterans they don't have to go to Washington D.C. they will find them in Cincinnati by those doing compassionate outreach.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, an Army veteran, says "one of the toughest things if you think about it, is you're coming from a job where your adrenalin is flowing 24-7 and you come out of the military and there is no work." He says the more we can do to help these veterans get a job will be tremendous.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.