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Vets get ‘first crack’ at county jobs

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced on May 22 that veterans would be given preference when hiring for open positions as community service assistants for the county Department of Assessment and Assessment Review Commission, with priority given to disabled veterans. The positions would allow veterans to work with the agencies to conduct and assist in communication and outreach with for property owners.

With more than 50,000 veterans calling the county home, Nassau represents the third largest veterans population in New York State. Curran said that because there are so many veterans living in the county, it was only natural to offer programs that could help them serve their communities again.

“This initiative demonstrates our ongoing commitment to provide tangible support and opportunities for our local veterans to ensure these brave men and women can thrive here in Nassau County,” Curran said at a news conference. “It’s our goal to ensure that every veteran, regardless of a disability, has a fair opportunity.”

Nassau County Assessor David Moog added that he was more than happy to bring in veterans as a part of his team. “This is a win – win for our department. As a son of a veteran, this hiring initiative is a meaningful measure of our gratitude to all veterans for the personal sacrifices they made to protect our freedoms.”

Long-time Elmont resident and the county’s Director of the Veterans Service Agency Ralph Esposito said he was thrilled to learn about the initiative from Curran and Moog’s offices. Esposito, a Vietnam War veteran, said that veterans were often forgotten about by their government whenever they returned from war, which why he believed that the county’s new hiring initiative sent out a statement to all vets that they are indeed remembered.

“It’s never been like this where our veterans can get first crack at these kinds of jobs,” Esposito said. “It means a lot to the vets to see that their government remembers them.”

He added that Curran and her administration has been very proactive in working with him and the VSA to tackle the biggest issues facing veterans in the county. Curran recently signed into law legislation that gives veterans employed by the county credit toward retirement health care benefits for up to three years in the military.

Curran also established the Commission on Ending Veterans Homelessness, which Esposito said was the biggest problem local vets faced today. The commission plans to produce recommendations regarding transitional housing, vocational training, financial literacy, mental health services and whatever other services veterans might need. Esposito will meet with the Commission in June to discuss their ideas and how they can work with the VSA to implement them.

Esposito and his team at the VSA will push their veterans to apply for the open positions at the Department of Assessment and Assessment Review Commission and to report on their progress through the application process.