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Finding work for female veterans

Female veterans face a higher unemployment rate than their male counterparts. Danielle Leigh reports.
Female veterans face a higher unemployment rate than their male counterparts. Danielle Leigh reports.

 24-year-old Porsche Williams is a single mother of two now studying computers.

She used to refuel jets on aircraft carriers in the Navy.

Since her discharge Porsche has been struggling to find the right job.

"I expected, you know that - the background that I had, somebody would go 'Yeah...she served our country. The least we can do is be there to help her. Employ her. Help her take care of her family'," she says.

Porsche is not alone.

The October unemployment rate for female veterans was 8-percent, higher than the rate for male veterans now at 6.7-percent.

The Veterans Administration says a greater percentage of females are unemployed in part because they don't realize they qualify for benefits like job training.

"The perception among many of the women is that if they didn't serve in combat they are not veterans," explains Irene Trowell-Harris, director of the Veterans Administration's Center for Women Veterans.

The V.A. is expanding its outreach to people like Porsche through a new hot line and website dedicated to women.

Female veterans can visit http://www.va.gov/womenvet/ to get help finding a job or to seek other benefits.

For counseling help women veterans can call 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636).

The VA is also relying on organizations like the Easter Seals to help train veterans.

As the war in Afghanistan continues to wind down the V.A. says the need for veterans work programs will only increase as thousands of enlisted men and women join the civilian work force.


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