The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 26, 2013

Examining the veteran hiring process

(Continued)

Marty Cremer, director of Wapello County Veteran Affairs, said while he doesn't know what percentage of city employees are veterans or the volume of veteran applications the city receives, he's "all for it."

"Especially after hearing the questions raised regarding city employment of veterans at Congressman Loebsack's meeting, it would be interesting to actually see what those statistics are," he said. "If we've got a qualified veteran, I'd love to think that that veteran at least gets a consideration for any position they're applying for."

Overall, Cremer thinks veterans have at least the same difficulty finding jobs as do non-veterans.

"Possibly the difficulties affect them a little more, I think, because these people are coming back from service, especially the ones in the Middle East, and everything at home has been disrupted by them leaving," he said. "They're trying to put things back together and then they've got to get back out in the workforce."

He hopes that the jobs service members left behind when they were deployed have been saved for them once they return.

"But I also know companies have to keep moving on, I just wish that when people come back home, even if they have replaced their former position, I wish they would create a position for them to let them get their lives back on track," he said.

But there are programs in town that veterans can take advantage of, including counseling and testing at the Iowa Workforce Development's veterans services department.

The council will also discuss extending the time limit on citizen input at council meetings. Currently, an individual is allowed to address an agenda item for three minutes at most, but Flanders wants to extend that to 5 minutes, following meetings where citizens speaking out against the rezoning of the Ottumwa Veterinary Clinic were cut short.

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