While the current sluggish economy has affected everyone, veterans who have volunteered to serve their country since September 11, 2001 have been hit especially hard. The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is more than double the national average, and in some communities it exceeds 27%. More than 1 in 4 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who do have a job are significantly under-employed, earning less than $21,000 per year.
“Veterans shouldn’t have to struggle for a job after returning from serving and fighting for their country overseas,” said Robert Klemeyer, chairman of the Eagle Forge Foundation. “Our country has done a great job supporting our wounded veterans and the families that have suffered loss, but it’s time to shift the focus towards helping transitioning veterans become successful contributors in the civilian economy.”
High veteran unemployment has just recently received the focus of the national media, but while companies are quick to issue press releases supporting the cause, the actual hiring of young veterans remains slower than for civilians who have never served. Unlike for-profit recruiters and placement agencies who are attempting to exploit the problem for personal gain, the Eagle Forge Foundation is successfully placing veterans with great companies at no cost to either the veteran or the company.
The “Visual Arts for Veterans” is unique in forging a bond between Sarasota’s large veteran community with the very active visual arts community in a venue that allows the public to watch talented artists work their craft. Along with some great family fun, crafts and military demonstrations, the focal point of the event will be the competition to produce stunning artworks with a veteran theme. To raise funds for Eagle Forge’s cause, the paintings will be auctioned off at the end of the day, allowing veteran supporters to take home the symbol of their support.
Completely free and open to all, the event will be held from 1-5pm on Saturday, April 21 at Ed’s Tavern on Lakewood Ranch Main Street. All funds raised at the event will go directly towards the Eagle Forge Foundation’s program to reduce veteran unemployment. To learn more about the event, visit http://www.visualartsforveterans.org or call (941) 257-0900.
About Eagle Forge Foundation
Eagle Forge Foundation is a non-profit organization headquartered in Sarasota, Florida. Solely focused on reducing veteran unemployment, Eagle Forge partners with companies throughout the United States to get them to pledge to hire veterans into their workforce. They then work directly with unemployed and transitioning service members to improve their resume, perfect their interview skills, and to find the position that fits best for their unique situation. Their services are provided free to both the veteran and the employer. To learn more about Eagle Forge please visit http://www.eagleforge.org
Chairman, Eagle Forge Foundation
# # #
Eagle Forge is a non-profit organization focused on reducing veteran unemployment through unique partnerships with US companies to create jobs and hire veterans.