News Release — Missouri Veterans Commission
For Immediate Release
July 25, 2019
Contact: Jamie Melchert, Communications Director, (573)508-9194
JEFFERSON CITY – Today, with approximately 150 Veteran supporters in attendance, Governor Mike Parson formally recognized July 25th as “Hire A Veteran Day In Missouri” at the Carnahan Memorial Garden.
The Missouri Veterans Commission hosted an event today near the Capitol and invited Veterans, area employers, Veterans Service Organizations, and State Agencies to gather and to be recognized by Governor Parson for their support of Veterans in the workplace.
In April, Governor Parson announced an initiative to retain Veterans who leave military service and attract those who separate from the military outside the state. Approximately 7,000 Veterans and service members with connections to Missouri separate from the military each year, but the majority do not choose to live in the state.
“Veterans bring unique qualities to the workplace such as: honesty and integrity, service before self, and excellence in all we do,” said Missouri Veterans Commission Executive Director Grace Link. “Missouri’s Veterans deserve every opportunity to obtain great jobs with supportive employers.”
According to the U.S. Census, the median household income for the Veteran population in Missouri was just over $54,000, while the national median was nearly $62,000. Veterans with a bachelor’s degree or higher in the state is just over 20 percent, while the national average hovers at about 25 percent. The vast majority of Veterans living in the state are Vietnam-era Veterans.
For many Veterans, the transition from military to civilian life can be challenging. Finding gainful employment is a critical piece of the process. Under Governor’s Parson’s initiative, a single point of contact within state government is assigned to Veterans to provide personalized assistance in identifying available jobs, education, training opportunities, and other supportive services offered by the state.
Columbia-based Veterans United Home Loans attended the event and represented a local business that provides a Veteran-supportive workplace and also actively recruits Veterans. Veterans United is the largest VA lender in the country and actively recruits Veterans and spouses as part of their team.
“I was familiar with Veterans United from friends who had very positive experiences working with them on home purchases,” said John Quin, an Afghanistan Veteran who is the director of communications for Veterans United. “It’s critical for the private sector to embrace guardsmen, reservists and service members who are transitioning to civilian life. Veterans United has been nationally recognized for its support to Veterans and spouses. They have also been very supportive of my continuing service in the reserve component.”