PHOENIX — At the end of last year, the unemployment rate for veterans in the U.S. was at 3%. In October, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that that number had nearly doubled.
The pandemic has made re-entering the workforce even harder.
As certain industries are crumbling, others are thriving. Air conditioning, plumbing, and other trade skills are essential in Arizona due to the brutal summers.
"Air conditioning is not a luxury in Phoenix, Arizona," said Goettl Air Conditioning and Plumbing CEO Ken Goodrich. "It's a life support system so we have to be out there."
Goodrich said the industry, however, is seeing more people leaving amid retirement, than joining. So, the company decided investing in veterans would be a win-win.
"They were trained in a unique manner to do unique skills and more trade-like skills," explained Goodrich. "They were also trained in some things that most people don't get these days... discipline, accountability."
The company has partnered with the Perfect Technician Academy to offer weeks of training at no cost to Valley veterans.
"We started an initiative this year to hire 50 veterans," explained General Manager Darin Wetzler. "We've far surpassed that. We got to 65 so far year-to-date. 21 of which are in our Tempe office."
Wetzler is a veteran himself and says to those service men and women who are looking for a job, this is an in-demand career that offers health care and benefits, while never being boring.
"The military doesn't really prepare you the best for coming out in the civilian sector," said Wetzler. "So, being able to be that gateway, that bridge… to get somebody out here and employed and make a solid career for themselves and for their families is something that I'm proud of."
All it takes to get started is a call to Goett Air Conditioning and Plumbing. Their number is 602-730-6555.
There is also an online application prospective employees can fill out. Click here to get started.