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Ballantyne summit held to encourage employees to hire veterans

Paratroopers in the First Brigade of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division parachute float to the ground during a training jump Aug. 6, 2010, at Camp Mackall, a training ground of Fort Bragg, N.C.
Paratroopers in the First Brigade of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division parachute float to the ground during a training jump Aug. 6, 2010, at Camp Mackall, a training ground of Fort Bragg, N.C. Getty Images

The secretary of the N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and other officials came to Charlotte Friday to urge employers to hire more veterans.

Cornell Wilson said veterans have a lot to offer companies, but sometimes they find it tough to land civilian jobs because some employers don’t see a need for specialized military skills.

“They say, ‘You know, I don’t need a sharp shooter today. I don’t need a tank driver,’” said Wilson, who spoke at a more than three-hour employment summit in Ballantyne.

But Wilson said veterans can drive an employer’s bottom line. “They have been trained very well, they’re drug-free, they get to work on time, and they get the job done,” he said.

The event held in Ballantyne was the third of three summits organized by North Carolina for Military Employment, a public-private partnership launched in March by Gov. Pat McCrory. The other two were held in Cary and Wilmington.

One goal of the partnership is to help find employment for the more than 20,000 service members transitioning annually from North Carolina military bases.

The partnership says it has helped with more than 558 job interviews so far for veterans and those preparing to leave the military. Those efforts have resulted in at least 321 job offers and 88 follow-up interviews, a 73 percent success rate, according to the partnership.

For more information, go to nc4me.org.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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