SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The State Assembly is partnering with employers around California to put unemployed members of the National Guard to work. It’s especially welcome news considering the high jobless rate among National Guard men and women returning home after serving their country abroad.

Thousands of those guardsmen and women have been deployed to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past decade, only to find themselves out of work when they return home.

California State Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) is hoping to change that, establishing a “Work for Warriors” program with major corporations like Comcast and J.P. Morgan Chase promising to put those Guard members to work.

“Especially for those who are now beginning to return home, we know that they deserve every opportunity as they make their transition back to civilian life,” he declared.

By some estimates, the unemployment rate of returning National Guard men and women is 5 – 10% higher than the state average. In some units, half of all returning soldiers cannot find work.

The Assembly has pledged $500,000 for the Work for Warriors program, which seeks to match returning Guard members with employers. The program’s declared goal is to reduce unemployment and underemployment of troops by 25% within one year.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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