Veteran organization hopes to tackle unemployment - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Veteran organization hopes to tackle unemployment

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)
PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

Military downsizing and higher than normal unemployment rates have prompted one regional organization to expand their services to veterans here in the Valley.

"I compare it to drinking water out of a fire hose, so much is happening so fast," said Charles Livings, the East-Alabama Regional Director of the Still Serving Veterans organization.

Life for transitioning soldiers can be overwhelming experts say. While the military offers and requires certain transitioning courses and services, research shows most veterans will need about six months to process life as a civilian before they start making use of the offered help...especially when the reality sinks in the sometimes hefty paychecks are no longer coming.

"To replace that with minimum wage jobs or part time jobs is very hard on that family to make that adjustment," said Livings.

While some areas in Alabama are seeing relief when it comes to unemployment, "
Now the unemployment rate in those highest unemployment areas has began to drop," said Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, East-Alabama and West-Georgia are still above national averages.

It is something that is prompting transition experts at the organization Still Serving Veterans to expand their services,especially since transitioning veterans can make up a large portion of those seeking a job.

"This area, the unemployment rate right now I believe is about 5.6 percent, where as in the rest of the country it's hovering around 4.7/4.8," said Livings.

"We must have a pipe line of trained young men and women who are capable of taking their education further, of making it more professionally focused in order to fill the jobs," said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.  

The office located at 1206 Broad Street in Phenix City will take appointments or you can simply walk in. The  regional office of the Still Serving Veterans organization can be reached at (334) 384-9111.

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