The unemployment rate is down in most states, according to new numbers from the Labor Department, but it remains a problem for veterans.
The Veterans Outreach Center says many returning servicemen and women are without a job. The group hopes to put a dent in the problem this Wednesday with its 12th annual National Veteran's Job Expo.
Despite work experience in the U.S. Army, "Eight years," Lauren Washington is still unemployed. "I did three years active duty and five years in the Reserves.'
"I was a supply specialist," Washington said. "I learned how to fix weapons and take them apart."
She's been out of work for three years, after losing a civillian job in Washington D.C.
"We actually ended up in a homeless shelter, we stayed in hotels," she said.
Washington says she found little help until she moved back home to Rochester with her three boys. That's when the Veterans Outreach Center stepped in.
"The key to secure family living is a job," Alexis Ganter with the Veteran Outreach Center said. "What we see is when folks don't have a job so many other factors come into jeopardy for them."
The VOC is helping her build a better resume and refine her work skills.
"I've taken customer service classes, veteran network classes and I also volunteer," Washington said.
The hope is she'll find a job at the National Veterans Job Expo in Rochester on Wednesday. More than a thousand veterans attended last year. This year VOC hopes to have 100 local companies looking to hire them.
"It's not to be missed," Ganter said. "Simply because with the large number of employers who aren't just paying service to the idea that of hiring veterans is important. These folks have jobs to fill, and they want to put veterans to work in them."
If everything works out, one of those jobs could be Washington's.
The National Veterans Job Expo is free. It takes place this Wednesday from 10 am to 3 pm at the Diplomat Banquet Center and Hotel and it's located on Lyell Avenue in Rochester.