Kansas City, Mo. – September 11, 2011 - Ten years ago today the world watched in horror as two planes crashed into The World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and another into a field in Pennsylvania.  This was the largest terrorist attack on American soil since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.  It was a declaration of war against the United States of America, and as a result thousands of young Americans enlisted in the Armed Forces to help protect our nation's freedom.

As we recognize the 10th anniversary of 9/11, many of these brave men and women are beginning the transition back to civilian life.  Unfortunately, their transition is occurring during one of the largest economic recessions in U.S. history.

In May 2011, the national unemployment rate was at 9.1 percent.  According to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the unemployment rate for veterans serving after September 11th was more than 12 percent.  In fact, Kansas ranks as the 6th highest state for 9/11 veteran unemployment rates with 17.2 percent unemployed versus the 6.6 percent state average for all unemployed.

To help ease the transition from military to civilian life for service member and veterans, Grantham University is providing a new service, Grantham Pathways. Grantham Pathways connects employers with students and alumni who are looking to make a career change. Because of Grantham's tradition and history of service to the military, over 90 percent of these job seekers are service members and veterans.

"Grantham Pathways was developed as a no-cost tool to help satisfy the unique needs of our service members, their families, veterans, and those who are making a major career change," said Shanna Fowler, Career Services Manager. "With Grantham's mission of 'serving those who serve', our Career Center even welcomes those making the military-to-civilian transition who are not our students or graduates."

Job seekers who register for Grantham Pathways will have access to a variety of tools, tips and tricks to help conduct a shorter and more successful job search.  One of these tools is the upcoming Military-to-Civilian Transition Virtual Employer Panel.  In this Webinar series, industry recruiters present information on the knowledge and skill set their specific fields looks for when recruiting new employees.

"One area that a lot of transitioning service members struggle with is taking their extensive military background and training and formatting it into a resume that a civilian recruiter can understand," Fowler said.  "The great thing about Grantham's Career Center is that we are willing to go through the resume with the individual, and show them how the proper tweaks and edits make them more competitive in the job market."

For employers, the benefits of hiring veterans are numerous. In addition to having a more diversified staff, veterans come to the workplace with discipline, a strong work ethic, training and security clearances. Additionally, organizations who hire veterans are eligible for special tax credits. Grantham Pathways provides assistance to employers who want to understand and utilize this unique population of the job market.

The Employer Resource Library contains documents that help companies understand the proper way to attract and recruit transitioning military members and veterans.  The library also provides details about the benefits and advantages 9/11 veterans bring to the workplace.

If you are interested in registering or learning more about Grantham Pathways, please visit the links below:

Grantham University's accredited online degree programs are flexible and portable, allowing students to fit education into their life instead of arranging life around their education. The University offers a variety of associate, bachelor and master's online degrees in areas such as Business Administration, Business Intelligence, Business Management, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Engineering Technology, Health Sciences, Human Resource Management, Information Systems Security, and Medical Coding and Billing.