Wilmington University hopes to link returning military veterans to employment opportunities

The national unemployment rate is disproportionately higher among military veterans.  Delaware’s Wilmington University hopes to reduce that number with a job fair and outreach program later this month.

The university will host “Operation Success: Welcome Home” Saturday April 21st from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at its main campus along Route 13 in New Castle. 

“Veterans often face a multitude of challenges when seeking employment, whether it’s a lack of higher education, a physical or psychological injury, or inadequate preparation for a post-military career,” Wilmington University Military Affairs Coordinator James Webb said Monday.  “‘Operation Success’ was designed to address these challenges.” 

Visitors to the event will be able to learn about current job openings, resume writing, job hunting strategies, and about how to put benefits such as the G.I. bill to work for them. 

Wilmington University President Dr. Jack Varsalona said an estimated 700 of its students are in the active military, and the university hosted the initial ‘Operation Success’ event last fall. 

“We pride ourselves on helping veterans, because they help us,” Varsalona said.

“The men and women who serve in our armed forces come home with unique skills and tested leadership experience, bringing immense value to the employers who hire them,” U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D.-Del.) added.  “After they fought for our freedom overseas, they shouldn’t have to fight even harder to get a job when they return home.” 

Coons noted that civilian job fairs that he and other members of the congressional delegation have hosted continue to draw large crowds of job-seekers.  The event April 21st is specifically organized for veterans and their families, who can also learn more about support services for military children, health care and mental health resources, family services, and spousal support and employment.

Rahim Banks, a staff sergeant with the Delaware Air National Guard, is a full-time Wilmington University student and is President of the school’s Military Veterans Student Organization.  He has managed to continue his education through flexible scheduling and online courses while fulfilling his military obligations.

Banks also believes awareness of the needs of veterans when they return home will continue to grow.  “I don’t think this is just a fad,” Banks said.  “I think it’s a movement that has started nationally,and is going to continue here at Wilmington University.”

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