Talk of the Sound

Unemployment is particularly high among veterans – about 6.3 percent compared to 7.3 percent nationwide. For those returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, unemployment is even higher – at about 10 percent.

County Executives Robert P. Astorino and Mary Ellen Odell hope some targeted job training for the veterans and their spouses will help.

The two are sponsoring a Job Fair Readiness Workshop Day on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Empire City Casino, 810 Yonkers Ave. Yonkers, second floor. The event is free and open to veterans and their spouses. Participants are encouraged to register in advance at or call (914) 995-3910.

The job readiness day is being coordinated by the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board and several private-sector partners, including Empire City Casino, which donated the space for the event. Other sponsors include The Business Council of Westchester, the Westchester County Association, Concorde Staffing, Madison Staffing and the Hospitality Resource Group, Inc.

The goal is to provide job readiness assistance to veterans and their spouses to increase their chances of finding employment.

The job readiness day is a complementary activity to the month-long online virtual job fair for veterans at that began on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 and will end Dec. 12.

“Our veterans have served our country and deserve our help in finding jobs,” said Astorino. “Veterans already have many useful skills and talents. This Job Readiness Day will help them market themselves to the private business sector. Our One-Stop centers have a proven track record with helping.”

“Veterans already have the abundant skills and confidence that the private sector can take advantage of. Our goal is to help them organize their credentials and provide them with access to good employment opportunities in the civilian workforce,” Odell said.

Dr. Michael Gillan, special associate vice president and co-chair of the Fordham Veterans Taskforce, will be the guest speaker at the event. Workshops will be led by professional career counselors and include the following topics: Using Social Media to Enhance Job Search, Effective Interviewing Skills, Composing a Winning Resume and Transferring Military Skills to Civilian Workforce.

“We owe these young men and women a debt we’ll never be able to repay,” said Timothy J. Rooney, owner and operator of Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. “Hosting this job readiness training is our small way of saying thank you to our service members and their families who have sacrificed so much.”

Richard Greenwald, president of Concorde Staffing and a member of the Workforce Investment Board and sponsor of the event, said: “County Executives Astorino and Odell are addressing the need to assist our veterans in obtaining employment and connecting our businesses to a skilled workforce.”

Donnovan Beckford, the director of the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board, reminded employers who are interested in hiring a veteran to register their openings at the veterans online virtual job fair at www.