The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 30, 2014

Veteran support


— It has taken more than two years, but the Veterans Employment Center promised by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin during his 2010 run for the Senate is a reality.

The new online database offers veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses tools to connect directly with employers

Described as a “one-stop-shop Internet portal,” the database merges interagency employment postings to provide veterans with job postings both public and private.

In addition, the site provides help with resumes, a military skills translator and career and training resources.

Manchin was able to bring together the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Commerce, Labor and Education, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to design and develop the website.

“I have always said if you want to help a vet, hire a vet,” Manchin said. “After working with the departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense and Labor since my good friend Sen. (Mark) Kirk and I launched the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus more than two years ago, I am pleased that the Veterans Employment Center has finally become a reality.”

Manchin wants servicemen and servicewomen who are moving to civilian life to have a a simple, consolidated and reliable source to connect with employers and search for all available jobs.

“Those who have served this great country are some of the most well-trained, disciplined and dedicated individuals among us, and they’ve proven to be undeniable assets on and off the battlefield,” Manchin said. “This online tool and joint effort is just the beginning of what we can do together to help our veterans quickly apply their military skills to the civilian job market.”

Like Manchin, we couldn’t be more pleased.

In addition, we think his close partnership as a West Virginia Democrat with an Illinois Republican like Kirk is also something to be remarked upon.

We’re not seeing much of that kind of bipartisanship in Washington these days.

U.S troop deployments overseas are winding down, and there is less focus on the active military role that American servicemen and servicewomen are playing these days.

On the one hand, we’re glad these American heroes are coming home.

On the other, we’re proud that some of our politicians realize that these veterans should not be forgotten once their active combat and support roles are over.

Good job, senators.