Community organization helping ensure veterans get employed

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A local organization working to make Charlotte a national model for veteran services is taking new measures to make sure employers are offering jobs to veterans.

Eyewitness News went to Charlotte Bridge Home's first community summit last year. At the time they set goals to connect returning veterans to employment opportunities and build a local network of resources for veterans as well.
Within a year they've accomplished their goal and are now working to  build on it by partnering with businesses to help them hire veterans.

"We're not just trying to fill slots, we want the right job for the right veteran and vice versa," said Community Initiative Director Balek Bourne.

Bank of America  and US Airways are just a few of the 24 companies Charlotte Bridge Home has partnered with.

Combined, they're  a part of the Charlotte Alliance for Veterans Employment or CAVE.

"Over the last three years we hired 4,000 veterans and over the next several years we have a commitment to hiring 10,000" said Jared Rorrer with Bank of America

Charlotte Bridge Home says there are 55,000 veterans in Charlotte.  Only a percentage of who need jobs. Those having the hardest time are veterans ages 20- 24.

Bourne says the problem is many of the vets don't think they're qualified

"They look at a job position, and all the terms, and they think if I don't know what it means than I must not be qualified for that position. So it's an immediate turnoff, even though they might be very qualified," said Bourne.

"Hiring managers understand the great expertise they bring. From decision-making, to leadership, to just get in there and get things done kind of perspective" said Rorrer.

Army veteran David Sanogueira went to last year's community summit and now works as a technical recruiter for Queen Associates.

"She asked me if I had ever considered recruiting before and I said absolutely not. And a few months later I was working for her," said Sanogueira

As part of the partnership Charlotte Bridge Home helps employers understand the issues veterans face.

Their goal is to have 50 companies by the end of the year.

"50 is not the limit. We'd like 100, 200. We need companies who are interested in hiring veterans who will work with us and will collaborate and share best practices," said Sanogueira.

Within the past year Charlotte Bridge Home has helped more than 500 local veterans. They're hoping to double that number this year.

If you'd like to learn more about this partnership and helping veterans find jobs click here.