RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. - There's a change in the way applicants to Riverside County job openings will be evaluated. Veterans, military members, and military spouses will now be given a guaranteed shot at employment that some say they haven't had in the past.
"Would you want to be excluded for what you're doing right now because of a computer?,” Michael Pierson, a Vietnam Veteran from Indio, said.
That's the problem he had after applying for an investigator position with the County of Riverside 20 years ago. The issue? A computer eliminated Pierson due to a lack of a bachelors degree. The exclusion came despite this veteran's qualifications.
"I've been a private investigator since 1988. I was a staff investigator with one of the most prestigious law firms at the time,” he said.
Selling short his 8 year service in the army with two tours in Vietnam.
“A veteran learns so many job skills during training. They acquire so many other valuable talents and abilities through life experiences,” he said.
A change was highlighted at a breakfast with Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. He said he and other supervisors approved a change in July. Effective now, any veteran and their spouses are guaranteed face to face interviews, when applying for county jobs.
"We want to be a model for the state of California. We are pro-veteran, here in the 4th district and the county of Riverside,” Supervisor Perez said.
Pierson says a face to face interview with a person will be a better judge of skill and talent.
“He or she, and then apply for a position and the meet with an evaluator and share all of those abilities and life experiences and why they would be such a great asset to the county,” he said.
While Pierson says he's no longer seeking a county job, he knows future veterans will have an easier path.
“It seems like a much fairer way of finding highly qualified veterans for the positions that are open,” he said.
County officials are also asking veterans to fill out a first of its kind survey to gauge the needs and resources already available for them. We have the link available here.
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15