Qualified military veterans get boost for Albuquerque city jobs
Veterans who have served honorably in the military are now guaranteed at least an interview when applying for a city job they qualify for.
Executives at City Hall say they don’t know of any policy quite like it — because it’s designed to make as many people eligible as possible.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said he hopes the new policy will boost the number of veterans employed in city government. It took effect June 1.
“I think if you’ve been willing to step forward and risk your life and service for freedom and Americans around the world, you deserve an advantage,” Berry said.
About 52,000 people apply for city jobs each year, and less than 8 percent are interviewed. Under the new policy, anyone who checks the “military” box on the application will get an interview, assuming they meet the job requirements, officials said.
The application includes instructions to determine who qualifies.
You don’t necessarily have to have been in combat to check the box. Applicants currently in the military must have passed basic training, and those who have already finished their service must have received an honorable discharge. Guardsman and reservists are included.
Roger Newall, the veterans liaison for the mayor, said he hopes Guardsmen returning from deployment will consider applying for city jobs.
The scope of who’s eligible makes Albuquerque’s policy unusual, he said.
“For the criteria we are using in this preference, I haven’t found anyplace else in the nation that has this open a policy,” Newall said.
Berry said that’s intentional.
“We wanted to broaden our base” of those eligible for an interview, he said.
Getting an interview won’t guarantee a job, of course. The applicant will have to earn it, the mayor said, and meet the skill requirements.
But “you now have the opportunity to sit down with the decision makers in each department,” Berry said.
The mayor said he hopes private companies will follow suit with similar policies.
“We’ve done something that’s meaningful for our heroes,” Berry said.
Visit cabq.gov/jobs to see a list of job openings and view online applications.
Distributed by MCT Information Services