Outreach program designed to help veterans find jobs

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SANDY, UT - NOVEMBER 4: Veterans register for the "Hiring Our Heroes" job fair November 4, 2011 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah. The job fair which had over 100 employers, was for veterans and current active duty military looking for jobs and was sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

By Amanda Thames

Jacksonville is a military town, and it’s filled with veterans who have served and fought for their country. Some of those veterans need a little extra help, and NCWorks is answering the call.

Gerardo “Gerry” Cruz, the veterans employment services supervisor with NCWorks, said the need to help veterans touches home for the employees there. “We are veterans, so we know their needs,” Cruz said.

NCWorks meets with veterans at local libraries each week, identifying what veterans need, Cruz said. The veteran assistance outreach began in December and is held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Swansboro Public Library; Wednesdays at the Richlands and Sneads Ferry branches; and Fridays at the main branch in Jacksonville.

Cruz said some are homeless, others are in need of transportation or driver’s licenses, and many are unable to pay for what they need. The ultimate goal is to find each person a job, but many needs go hand-in-hand: To pay rent and buy groceries, for example, these veterans need to earn money.

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