PALM DESERT – More than 40 veterans have joined the Riverside County workforce in the five months since the Riverside County Board of Supervisors adopted a veteran-friendly policy to improve employment opportunities for veterans.
The policy was one among many that Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez pushed for and won to assist veterans.
Nearly 200 veterans and spouses applying for county jobs benefited from the policy’s guarantee of job interviews, according to figures from the county’s Human Resources department. Of those, 46 veterans have been hired and 18 are in pre-hire status, pending a background check and physical.
“I am so proud of our initial results to hire these patriotic men and women who served our nation,” Perez said. “The veterans employment preference, which ensures job interviews during the hiring process, is a significant step in our work to have Riverside County become the most veteran-friendly county in the country. This is a great start for us and I look forward to seeing more veterans hired in 2019.”
Riverside County is among the nation’s leaders in being home to more than 130,000 veterans of the National Guard, Reserves, Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
When Perez took office, he wanted to aid veterans and their spouses seeking jobs with the County of Riverside that utilize their talents, education, leadership and dedication to serving the public.
The county’s previous point-based hiring preference system was decades old, and was testing‑based. As many jobs do not require testing, the policy was in need of modernizing to make it more functional for veteran applicants and county departments.
Perez, his staff, and county officials in the Department of Human Resources developed a revitalized veteran employment preference program, which is reportedly among the most veteran- and veteran spouse-friendly employment programs in the state and likely in the country.
It improves the preference given to veterans by guaranteeing interviews to all qualified veterans and spouses, provided that applicants meet the requirements of the job.
The enhanced veteran hiring program was unanimously adopted by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in May, and took effect July 1. The program has been implemented across all county departments.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Smith III, a retired Marine combat veteran who served in Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm-Desert Shield, praised Perez. “Supervisor Perez has worked very hard for veterans since taking office and we are grateful for all he is doing to assist veterans and their families. No doubt, these results are impressive. This program should be in every city and county in our state.”
All honorably discharged veterans and their spouses are eligible for the preference. Applicants are required to submit documented proof of the veteran’s honorable or general discharge, including a Form DD-214 or NGB-22, by the job‑posting deadline.
Perez represents the eastern two-thirds of Riverside County on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the Colorado River, the 4th District is the largest geographical district in the county.
- V. Manuel Perez: Supervisor V. Manuel Perez