Program helps veterans land jobs

Program helps veterans land jobs

EUGENE, Ore. - Scott Cleeton has been looking for work for a year.

"I would get doors slammed in my face even before I even started," the Marines veteran said.

He is not alone: nearly 11.5 percent of Oregon veterans are out of work. That is 25 percent higher than the unemployment rate for the general population.

That is where VIP comes in.

Veterans in Progress is a St. Vincent de Paul job program for homeless veterans and veterans at risk of becoming homeless.

At VIP, specialists like Harold McCain are trying to tap the hidden job market and connect vets with work.

"It's canvassing the area, looking for new markets, companies that are coming in," said McCain.

Now in its third year, 73 percent of the veterans who go through the program land a job.

Cleeton said VIP has helped give him renewed confidence to face the job market - and a chance to get what he wants.

"A job," he said. "You know, someone to say, 'Hey, we are hiring you.' "