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Local Business Honored for Hiring Veterans

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/local-business-honored-hiring-veterans_60693.mp3

Governor Jay Nixon was in Springfield Wednesday morning to present the Flag of Freedom Award to O’Reilly Automotive.  The award is given to companies who have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge and have hired at least one veteran.  Governor Nixon says O’Reilly has hired hundreds of veterans.

The Show-Me Heroes program, established in 2010, helps connect military veterans with job opportunities when they return home from service.  Businesses who participate sign a pledge to increase efforts to reach out to, recruit and interview veterans for job openings at their business.  And Jon Barry, director of Show-Me Heroes, says businesses have access to an online job database…

"Jobs.mo.gov through Workforce Development, that offers the opportunity for a business to post their jobs for free, localized to any part of the state or statewide just like they would in any other thing, but the benefit to them is that we have that system on the back end for automatic matching and for that person to person contact.  We have an individual on the ground.  Like, for O'Reilly here in Springfield, we have our local veterans representative who can work with their HR department to really draw out those requirements and find individuals that are good fits for those positions," he said.

Governor Nixon says he’s pleased with the success so far of the Show-Me Heroes program.  To date, 2,989 Missouri businesses have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge, and those businesses have hired 4,271 veterans…

"The program has been a win-win for veterans and employers.  It helps these men and women find good jobs and provide Missouri businesses with great candidates for employment," he said.

The program is administered by the Missouri Division of Workforce Development. 

Last year, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill that adds on-the-job training for returning National Guardsmen, reservists and recently-separated active-duty service members that Show-Me Heroes employers agree to hire.

For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.