Michael Martinez| The Detroit News

Taylor — The state of Michigan is redoubling its efforts to find jobs for its roughly 680,000 veterans.

Gov. Rick Snyder said, in the past past decade, Michigan lagged in its efforts to help returning veterans transition into civilian life and find jobs. As a result, the state’s veteran unemployment rate hovers around 8 percent.

“They should be given extra consideration (for jobs),” Snyder said Wednesday, speaking at the 2013 Governor’s Summit on Veterans Talent, held at the Masco Corporation headquarters in Taylor. “We should be making that extra effort to make that connection happen.”

This March, the state created the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency to help connect qualified veterans with employment opportunities.

“Talk about great people to hire,” Snyder said. “They have leadership skills, teamwork skills, and they’ve gone through adversities we can’t appreciate in the civilian world. Let’s give them a career.”

As part of the summit, Snyder signed bills into law that will allow veterans to transfer military skills into civilian jobs without re-training in areas they’re experienced in. A number of companies, including Quicken Loans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and others were on hand to discuss their own veteran hiring programs.

Keynote speaker Salvatore Augustine Giunta, an eight-year Army veteran who was awarded a Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, said veterans often have trouble marketing themselves when applying for jobs.

“Our veterans today are silent professionals,” he said. “They’re not boastful and they don’t tell about all the things they did. To market yourself you have to say ‘I’m really great and this is why,’ and the one thing you don’t do in the military is say ‘I’m really great.’”

Most are excellent workers, he said, but struggle when they return from combat.

“It’s a different world here,” Giunta said. “We as Americans are so fortunate. We live such easy, cushioned, soft lives and it’s done because of hard people doing hard tasks that don’t expect anything in return.”

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