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Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News
FILE – Iron Mountain Designs president Josh Vandenbrink stands for a portrait in his office in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, surrounded by designs for upcoming projects. After 14-year career in the military and being deployed 21 times with Special Operations experience as an Air Force Pararescueman, Vandenbrink started his own fabrication business and creates steel American flags among his other projects.
It’s been three years since a campaign was launched in Utah to reduce the rate of unemployment among military veterans, which at the time stood at 7.2 percent. It involved expanding and consolidating services to help veterans find jobs, and it contributed to reducing that rate of joblessness by a remarkable 68 percent — an accomplishment for which the state and its partners deserve exceptional praise.
Yes, the reduction in unemployment among veterans has come as the overall unemployment rate has dropped, but among those with backgrounds of military service, it has dropped even more. In 2013, when the state’s Department of Veterans and Military Affairs began its efforts, the overall state unemployment rate was 4.2 percent. Today it stands at 3.1 percent while among veterans, the number is 2.3 percent, one of the lowest in the country.
This impressive accomplishment is the result of…