PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After giving their all for their country, veterans often come home to applause and thank yous – and unemployment.

In an effort to meet the challenge, the Allegheny Conference invited veterans and employers to a luncheon at Heinz Field Monday afternoon.

“There are 26,634 open positions in the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania,” Conference CEO Dennis Yablonsky said during a pre-luncheon news conference.

Allegheny Conference VP Laura Fisher announced a new website called servicetoopportunity.org  aimed at translating military jobs into their civilian counterparts.

“What Service to Opportunity will also do is take that translation, and connect you to open jobs right now in the region,” she added.

Marine veteran James O’Connor was among those in attendance.  He says the jobs network is a great opportunity for veterans.

“They don’t know many people,” O’Connor said. “Sometimes they’ve served three or four tours overseas.  And when they come back, they’re looking for an opportunity to get involved, and for employment.”

Forums for employers and veterans will take place in Pittsburgh Nov. 18 and 19.  Information is available on the website, hiringourheroes.org.

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