Because no veteran should have to fight for a job at home after they fight for our nation overseas, Los Angeles civil rights advocate, Sean Erenstoft launched a veterans’ job bank and recruiting service through his previously established LA-VETS.com effort.
LA-VETS was established in 2011 to provide vets with easy access to VA benefits. Prior to Erenstoft’s effort, the comprehensive platform offered to vets was found on the government’s online website. However, the VA site remains highly criticized for being difficult to navigate and seemingly impervious to its intended users.
Following his volunteer efforts serving veterans at a local American Legion post, Erenstoft observed that many veterans do not have the technical experience or patience required to navigate the Veteran’s Administration website. Most of his volunteer efforts involves simply sitting down with veterans to locate and apply for benefits.
The JOBS4VETS Project is simply an effort to contact currently existing job boards and employers to help ensure that veterans are expressly contemplated and specifically categorized in job postings. Erenstoft believes that “while veterans’ health concerns are amply addressed by the government’s own website, one critical area that remains underserved is the mental health component involving having a job.”
Erenstoft’s concern for the mental health of our vets was occasioned by recent suicide statistics suggesting that calls to suicide hotlines are overwhelmed by returning vets. “Quite literally, having a job to go to can save a life.” The LA-VETS site has been improved to include links to employment sites that have expressed a willingness to set aside and advertise jobs specifically to our men and women who served in the armed forces. Additional links will be added as calls for awareness are met with the specialized marketing efforts provided by on-line job sites.
The next effort on behalf of veterans will involve assisting our vets’ manage legal entanglements which can also improve one’s mental health.