The 93rd American Legion national convention began at the Minneapolis Convention Center Saturday with a large job fair.
A recent Congressional study found Minnesota has one of the highest rates of joblessness in the nation for post-Sept. 11 veterans — nearly 23 percent. That's more than three times the unemployment rate for civilians.
Department of Defense assistant director of outreach Robert Madden helped organize the American Legion job fair and said some employers don't hire veterans because they have misconceptions about things like post traumatic stress disorder.
"This is not a debilitating issue," he said. "This is something that most people deal with themselves through counseling, through Department of Veterans Affairs or through the vet centers that are available. But that's about the only stigma that's out there."
Madden said many of the skills men and women learn in military service are transferable to the private sector. He said the department is focusing on recruiting employers in rural Minnesota where veteran unemployment is particularly high.