Minnesota companies step up as National Guard members face unemployment

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Minnesota National Guard told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there were 750 guard members deployed overseas. They are now coming home and about 16% of them face unemployment and job transitioning.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is teaming up with dozens of Minnesota companies to help those unemployed soldiers find work and train for new careers.

Minnesota National Guard Master Sgt. Tim Mead is one of those soldiers transitioning into a new career and is now teamed up with a mentor at Andersen Corporation with the hope of getting a job in sales.

"I am very thankful, extremely thankful for this opportunity because it is something, after a career in the military, that is not that easy to do," Mead said. "I am receiving the training and the knowledge I need in order to make a successful transition."

His mentor at Andersen is fellow veteran Benjamin Christians, who told KSTP he gets a lot of pleasure out of helping another veteran after he served in the military himself.

"The more I have gotten to know Tim and his family, the better it gets and gives me the opportunity to give back," Christians said. "I get to do this with Andersen, within a smaller unit at Andersen, and I can go home at night knowing I am doing something for someone other than for me."