Workforce Centers proud to serve veterans
Memorial Day is not just another government holiday to those of us who work within the Department of Labor and Employment. It gives us pause to remember how the United States Employment Service began. It’s our connection to the veterans honored on this special day.
Very little was done to help the veteran find employment during the Great Depression. The one bright spot occurred in 1933, when the U.S. Employment Service was established under the Wagner-Peyser Act. The key features of the act were federal matching funds for the operation of state employment offices, federal supervision of operation, state administration of the services, and special provision for employment services to veterans.
In addition, the position of state veterans employment representative was established. Under the new national system, employment officers were required to maintain service devoted to securing employment for veterans.
Priority in employment services for veterans has been maintained by the United States Employment Service throughout its history.
The second World War erupted for the United States at Pearl Harbor in December 1941. During the war, over 16 million Americans served in every corner of the globe. Over 600,000 were wounded in action in places like Iwo Jima and Sicily. Over 400,000 died at other places like Salerno and the Normandy beaches.
When programs for World War II veterans were designed, the vivid specter of post-World War I America and the Great Depression was still in the minds of the planners. They remembered veterans standing in soup lines, peddling apples on corners or marching on Washington for jobs.
As a result, the nation’s responsibilities to its veterans widened dramatically. The passage of the Wagner-Peyser Act was a significant gain for the veteran.
Although the services of the more than 2,400 local offices of the United States Employment Service are available to all unemployed persons in search of jobs, veterans have been singled out for special priority services with preferential treatment for disabled veterans.
Our Workforce Centers take pride in serving veterans throughout Colorado. Each day working in a Workforce Center is a day of remembering those who served our country to protect the freedoms that we often take for granted.
We remember you and we thank you.
Carel Nickey is on staff at the Steamboat Springs Workforce Center. Offices are also located in Glenwood Springs, Basalt and Rifle.
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