Veterans Find Jobs in Wake of Bird Flu

Jul 13, 2015

Many veterans have a hard time finding employment when they return to civilian life, though some have landed jobs in the wake of bird flu. 

Veteran Enterprises is a veteran-owned business that does government contracting. Owner-operator Garth Carlson says he’s currently involved with the cleaning and disinfecting of six bird flu affected facilities in Iowa and Minnesota.

Carlson served two tours in Kosovo and two tours in Iraq with the army, but today he disinfects livestock facilities. 

"It’s a lot of square inches to cover...you’re just powering washing. You got 35,000 PSI water coming out of there, 180 degree water to clean up all the dust and everything to get everything looking like new. So it’s constant. Power washers are running all the time," says Carlson. 

Carlson says for particularly large operations, the amount of time it takes to cleanse a facility is roughly two months. He says his workforce numbers roughly 60 people, and he gives hiring preference to, and likes working with, vets.

"Since they’ve been 18, out of the house, they’ve been in the military," he says. "They’ve been told what to do, where to do it, and all that. So we kind of give them that guidance along the way, and kind of teach them how to think on their own, and...be a little more of a civilian. "

Carlson also employs some poultry workers who lost their jobs as a consequence of bird flu. He says the turnover rate is about 30 percent, so he’s hiring.