Today, Governor Roy Cooper hosted a veterans roundtable discussion focused on supporting North Carolina’s veterans during the transition to civilian life and beyond. The Governor was joined at the NCWorks Career Center in Fayetteville by North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders and North Carolina Department of Military & Veterans Affairs Secretary Walter Gaskin along with several veterans and local business owners for the discussion.
“We owe a deep debt of gratitude to our veterans, and it’s our obligation to help them transition to civilian careers and get the benefits they’ve rightfully earned when they leave active service,” said Governor Cooper. “Our veterans make powerful impacts on our state’s economy and small businesses and we want to do everything we can to help them succeed.”
“North Carolina businesses and communities are enriched by the contributions of Veterans in the workplace every day, with many Veterans also succeeding as entrepreneurs and business owners themselves,” said Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “North Carolina employers value our Veteran workforce – and our NCWorks Career Centers are committed to helping them connect with highly-skilled Veteran talent. Our Veterans are integral to our workforce and economy, and we are proud to support those who serve and defend our country."
“The military is the training ground for a wide range of people with an even wider range of talents. We are incredibly blessed to have one of the world’s largest military installations in our state,” said Secretary Walter Gaskin. “It’s home to some of the best and brightest minds in the world with dedication and service at the core of their character. Our Military Community offers a ready and able workforce.”
The N.C. Department of Commerce works in close partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and employs 52 NCWorks Veterans Services professionals (all of whom are veterans themselves). These professionals, located at NCWorks Career Centers across the state, help connect veterans to employers, as well as to training opportunities. The department also partners with North Carolina For Military Employment (NC4ME) on special hiring events. In the 2022-2023 year, North Carolina’s workforce system supported more than 16,300 veterans who received some type of job-seeker service through their local NCWorks Career Center.
North Carolina is the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation, with a large active military population and almost 800,000 veterans who call our state home. Governor Cooper’s administration has taken action to make sure the veterans in our state can access the services they need and live the full and healthy lives they deserve. And with life-saving Medicaid Expansion set to begin on Dec. 1 in North Carolina, approximately 14,000 additional North Carolina veterans could qualify for critical health care.
DMVA has 12 Veteran Services Offices across the state specializing in ensuring our veterans are made aware of and maximize all the benefits and resources available to them. Through the second quarter of 2023, those offices have helped North Carolina veterans claim over $22 million in compensation.
Started in 2018, the HIRE Vets Medallion Program is the only federal-level veterans’ employment award that recognizes an organization’s commitment to veteran hiring, retention, and professional development. In 2021, 22 North Carolina companies received a HIRE Vets Medallion Award, and in 2022, that number increased to 27 North Carolina companies.
NCDMVA, NCDHHS, NCDOT, and the Department of Commerce are working tirelessly to create opportunities for servicemembers and veterans with employment, education and certification assistance and other ways to help approximately 20,000 military service members transition from active duty to veteran status each year.