Next steps for vets: NBC launches job site for ex-military

As troops exit Afghanistan and the U.S. military downsizes, millions of ex-servicemembers will pour into a job market where post-9/11 veterans already grapple with a 10.1 percent unemployment rate -- far higher than the national average. 

But extra help is here for men and women who depart the armed forces. 

NBCUniversal has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to launch “Next Steps for Vets,” a web portal that supplies an array of nimble tools and ready resources to veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses, leading them into employment and educational opportunities.

The centralized hub, hosted by NBC News, serves as a nationwide network that equips veterans and their spouses with online instruments and critical intel, allowing them to more easily map out new lives after shedding their uniforms for good.

At the portal, users will find a resume-engine tool that translates military expertise into marketable language that will catch the attention of human resources executives. There's a G.I. bill calculator to help veterans evaluate all the benefits for which they are eligible. A job-finder feature lists professions from the National Resource Directory’s Veteran’s Job Bank.

Other components include a a “12 step guide” to starting a small business, based on leading resources from Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families entrepreneurship training programs, plus articles, videos and online training sessions from the U.S. Small Business Administration. There is also a job fairs map, displaying the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s upcoming “Hiring Our Heroes” events. And an eMentor Leadership Program is available to link military spouses to employment counselors.

“Our returning servicemen and women can be a vital part of the U.S. workforce, putting the skills they’ve learned in the military to work for companies or their own business enterprise,” said Beth Colleton, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, NBCUniversal. “Next Steps for Vets provides them with the tools they need to navigate and prepare for these employment, small business and education opportunities and supports veterans in their return to civilian life.”

Comcast Corporation and NBC Universal announced last week that the company met a commitment to employ veterans nearly two years ahead of schedule, hiring 2,000 former members of the armed forces since January 2012.

Visit: Next Steps for Vets