Report: Florida Cities Among 'Best Places For Veterans'

By: Matt Horn Email
By: Matt Horn Email

By: Matt Horn
November 20, 2013

Three Florida cities, Tampa, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale are among the top ten cited in the newest Best Places for Veterans report. Veteran unemployment rates here in Florida far exceed the general population.

Air Force Veteran Abby Kinch is one of 1.6 million veterans living in the Sunshine State. After returning to civilian life, she went to work for Florida State University.

“I had supervised a number of airmen and so, getting out, that’s one of the things I put on my resume,” said Kinch.

However, most veterans aren’t so lucky in the transition from the battle field to the work place. October’s unemployment rate for veterans is at ten percent, much higher than the civilian rate of 6.8 percent. Because of the higher rate, the state is dedicating extra resources to help veterans find work.

“We want to make sure that they are getting employment, that they are getting the job opportunities,” said Jesse Panuccio, Director of the Department of Economic Opportunity.

Tampa, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale are among the nation’s top 10 cities helping veterans find jobs. Military unemployment rates, job growth and health resources helped put the cities in the top 10.

“To promote the availability of Florida’s talented, well-trained veterans to employers we recognize November as ‘Hire a Veteran’ month in Florida,” said Mike Prendergast, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

FSU and the University of South Florida ranked among the top 10 in another poll for most friendly military universities.

“Everyone is overwhelmingly supportive of transitioning out of military life into civilian life into college life,” said Kinch.

The three cities in the 2013 top 10 are all new to the list. There were not any Florida cities on the 2012 top 10 list.

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