Report: Large number of veterans under-employed - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Report: Large number of veterans under-employed

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - For the sixth straight year, Arkansas State is listed among the Military Times "Best for Vets College" in the 2015 rankings. The Beck PRIDE Center has been serving veterans since 2010.

According to a survey from the University of Phoenix, the unemployment rate for veterans is dropping but a large number of them are under-employed.

The survey shows that 72 percent of veterans say they took a job because they were unemployed even though it was beneath their skill set. 

"We may not have all the answers but we can help them find the answers and refer them to where they need," said Lynda Nash, director of the Beck PRIDE Center at Arkansas State University. 

The center is currently helping 219 veterans and has assisted more than 400 veterans since the opened their doors about four years ago. The Beck PRIDE Center focuses on personal rehabilitation, individual development and education. Nash said their primary focus is recent combat veterans.

"Helping them identify the resources to pay for school, accessing those resources or do they need adjustment," she said. "We help provide support for not just veterans but spouses, significant others and children of those veterans."

The Beck PRIDE Center offers veterans access to counseling, placement tests and career options. Finding a job just adds to the list of challenges veterans face once they return home. 

"When they first come back, a lot of is hyper-vigilance, they're so aware of what kept them safe which was being completely aware of their surroundings," Nash said. 

A Veterans Affairs counselor meets with veterans once a month on campus. The center also has a combat support group. Nash said they just completed a workshop for mental health providers and religious leaders in the local community.

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