Red tape is preventing some vets from finding jobs, Call of Duty Endowment says

Julia LeDoux
May 29, 2020 - 2:56 pm
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Call of Duty Endowment

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to historically high unemployment rates across the country as the nation ground to a halt to stop the spread of the virus over the past several months.

Dan Goldenberg, executive director of  Call of Duty Endowment, believes the shutdown is also shining the spotlight on the twin issues of veteran unemployment and underemployment.

“Those problems aren't going away soon,” he said.

Supported by Activision Blizzard and based on the popular "Call of Duty" video game series, C.O.D.E.  works with groups in the United States and the United Kingdom that help veterans find jobs following their military service.

“We had a 59-percent increase in the number of calls we receive for help in March,” Goldenberg said.

Founded in  2009, C.O.D.E. has helped  69,000 veterans find jobs, he said. The endowment now serves 10 U.S. veterans organizations and, more recently, two U.K. organizations.  

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Goldenberg, who is a retired Navy captain, said veteran underemployment doesn’t have roots in the pandemic. A  study sponsored by C.O.D.E. and Zip Recruiter found that veterans’ underemployment rates are 15 percent higher than nonveterans. 

He put the blame for the high rate of veteran underemployment on what he called the “red tape” of state licensing requirements for civilian jobs in several fields, including medicine. 

“Medics and corpsmen are highly trained,” he said. “They’ve performed on the battlefield, but aren’t considered qualified for a civilian job. The second they take off that uniform, they are considered persona non grata in the medical field.”

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He said the same holds true for veterans who have served as quartermasters, truck drivers in the infantry or in communications.

To help put these veterans back to work, Goldenberg said there needs to be a uniform nationwide licensing system so veterans can transition to civilian employment when they leave the service.

“This is not a red or blue issue,” he said. “This  is an awareness issue.”

To learn more about C.O.D.E. and its efforts to help veterans find jobs, click here.

Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com.

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