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Veterans networking site focuses on jobs

Monday - 5/28/2012, 5:48pm  ET

vetcentral.jpg
The social networking site is the first of its kind to cater only to Americans who have served their country in military service. (Courtesy Veteran Central)

Megan Cloherty, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - After spending time serving their country, many veterans face difficulty finding a job and adjusting to normal life back at home. A new social networking site aims to help connect veterans with peers and employers.

Entrepreneur Jonathan Lunardi started Veteran Central after hearing the story of former Navy officer Michael Barrett. Barrett, home after 9 years of active duty, was having a tough time finding a job.

"It's a difficult transition, because we don't have a profession to speak of," Barrett explains to Mashable. "We're handicapped in that regard, and we're less marketable in the work world."

Lunardi says Veteran Central's focus is job placement and tools for young, blue-collar veterans without a network.

The free site is now working with Department of Veterans Affairs and the Military Channel to reach more veterans looking for support and employment.

Most of the site's 1,200 registered users sign up to find work, Lunardi says. The company tells Mashable each job is peer-reviewed and vetted before it is posted.

The work listed on the site is primarily in construction and trucking to fit the skill set of a young veteran without a college degree, Lunardi says.

"Veterans struggle with finding out who to trust," he says. "We want to be a beacon of light in the veteran community, and you're going to find content and resources from people that care about veterans."

The startup is still building its psychological resources for vets and supporters, and is developing a social aspect that will allow users to share with friends.

The site hopes to get more employers registered and begin offering more job opportunities on the site in the next few months.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)