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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Augusta Career Center is teaming up with employers and service providers to connect Maine veterans to jobs, and curb the 20 percent veteran unemployment rate in the state.

Wednesday's "Hiring Maine's Heroes Job Fair" brought 45 employers and 15 service providers to the Augusta Armory.

Organizers from the Augusta Career Center and the Employer Support of the Guard Reserve said they are focusing on veterans because of the high unemployment rate they face.

While the state unemployment rate is 7.3 percent, Maine veterans experience a 20 percent unemployment rate.

Veterans career fairs have become more common at the local level, with the Lewiston Career Center hosting a similar event in January.

There's also been a focus at the Federal Level, with the 2011 Veterans Opportunity to Work, or VOW Act. The legislation requires all veterans not in school full-time or without a job to attend a three day workshop on resume writing, interviewing, and other job hunting skills.

The Employer Support of the Guard Reserve is planning other veteran job fairs in the coming months. Tentatively, job fairs will be held in Bangor in May and Lewiston in the fall.

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