Want To Start Your Own Business? There’s Help, Especially For Ve - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Want To Start Your Own Business? There’s Help, Especially For Veterans

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash – Looking for work can be like finding a needle in a haystack these days, especially for veterans who return from combat and need to readjust back into civilian life.

But there's a class starting up with the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce that can help.

It's called NxLevel, and it's a 13-week class that meets once a week, designed for people who want to create their own business.  Through the course, you develop a business plan and learn about key aspects of running a business, including tax and legal issues, financial planning and marketing.

"We involve people from the business community," said President & CEO Eldonna Shaw of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.  "Our trainers are trained business volunteers and we also have trained experts from the chamber business community, so [students] connect with a lot of good people that can be helpful to them when they get their business started."

Phil Kiver is one of the local veterans who have gone through the NxLevel program.  He's been deployed overseas several times, and told KHQ a lot of veterans feel more comfortable working for themselves rather than working a "9 to 5" for someone else.  Plus, there are a lot of skills you learn in the military that are easily transferrable to a civilian career.

"The army has mechanics and welders, all the way up to veterinarians and doctors and nurses assistants and surgeons and everything in between," Kiver said.  "So if you are that veteran having a problem finding a job, figure out what it is you were good at, or trained for, in the military and go into business for yourself."

The next round of classes begin February 6th through the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, and are open to the public.  They're usually limited to roughly 15 people.  Scholarships are available for veterans, and are also available through the City of Spokane Valley for any resident living in Spokane Valley.

The demand for help is clear:

In Spokane County right now, the unemployment rate is 7.7%, but among local veterans age 18-64 it's higher, sitting at about 10%.  That represents 1,726 veterans in Spokane County alone.

According to statistics from the Department of Labor, in Kootenai County, 7.3% of veterans are unemployed, and in the five northern counties, it's 8.3%.  The highest is in Shoshone County, with a veteran unemployment rate of 19.6%.

If you are a veteran with mental health issues and looking for work, the VA hospital has resources just for you, through its "Veterans Supported Employment Program."

 

 

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