Veterans for hire.

In a sparse job market, it is they who often make for the best of employees, according to Shannon Eidem, Veterans Employment Representative from Pennsylvania Career Link.

Eidem, who is also a member of the Business Services Team, met recently with members of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce to discuss why veterans should be hired once they've returned from overseas assignments.

"I know what it's like to find good help," Eidem said. "It's not easy."

Eidem said that because of their background, veterans have an innate ability to catch on quickly.

"They've learned that they're capable of learning new concepts, skills and ideas, and are also good at taking direction," she said. "They're all going to make valuable assets to any company that they work for."

Plus, Eidem said military people are "willing to come into entry level positions and work their way up."

"I am very dedicated to giving them the training that they need," she said. "We'll do basically whatever it is to get them a job."

Eidem said that in instances where it comes down to two individuals with equal qualifications, she'd prefer to see veterans get the nod.

"Whenever you have two qualified candidates, I ask you to take them into consideration," she said. "These are still the same kids that are risking their lives to protect our freedom and our rights."

Eidem said there are testing and assessment tools, as well as free job postings.

"We like to make individual appointments with companies," she said. "We're really trying to reach out to businesses."

Eidem noted that the unemployment rate in Carbon County is 11.3 percent.

"We really want to tailor everything to the businesses," she said. "I want to have my veterans hired."

Eidem said Career Link has been able to find jobs for some in the county.

"You need to know this is a bad economy," she said. "You do get what you pay for."

Peter Kern, chamber president, noted it's tough for veterans to find jobs.