Wichita Falls ranks as a top spot for retired veterans to live in a new USAA survey. But numbers show a struggle to live for veterans looking for work. Newschannel 6 spoke to the Texas Veteran Commission and they tell us more than 500 veterans in Wichita Falls are looking for job.
Tim Shatto, a Veterans Unemployment Representative says right now he works with more post 9-11 vets. He says at times it can be a challenge helping them make a smooth transition into the civilian work force.
The transition is not always an easy one. Younger and younger post 9-11 veterans are unemployed and need help. Especially if they do not have a college degree. Shatto tells us, "It's a frustrating market . When you see jobs out there that are looking for administrative assistance requiring bachelors degrees. For the non-college educated person that is a level of frustration in itself."
A four year degree is not the only thing standing in the way to a job. Shatto says the biggest challenge they face is learning how to use their combat operational skills in the everyday civilian work force. "Not every infantry men is just about shooting a gun. They have transferable skills in there. Whether it's computer skills, leadership skills, maybe added duties they did. We can translate those skills into the civilian terms."
Shatto and his partner are assisting unemployed vets daily. He says normally they average 20 veteran hires a month. Something veteran James Crumley is most thankful for. Crumley comments, "They do most of the work you just let them know what you're interested in. They match it up with their computer data base. They send you a card and say go check out this place. It makes it a lot easier."
And Shatto welcomes all veterans to make use of their services like Crumley has. "Come see us. We cant help you if we don't know you're out there."
Tim Shatto says another challenge veterans face in the work force is getting accustomed to starting fresh in a new industry. Right now there are more jobs offered in the retail and service field.
If you are an unemployed veteran in the area needing assistance you can contact the Wichita Falls Work Force Solutions for special assistance at (940) 322 - 1801 Ext. 127. You can ask for Tim Shatto with the Texas Veterans Commission.