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Friday, May 11, 2012 - 2:00am

Coke Recruiting Veterans

The Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company said this week it will focus recruitment efforts on military veterans, hiring at least 800 across the country this year.

Those are jobs in Georgia and across the country, though the company has not decided yet exactly how many will be here. Some will be new positions.

Coca-Cola Refreshments spokeswoman Susan Stribling said it just makes sense to take advantage of the education and experience veterans bring with them from the military.

“Our system is so vast and we have everything from supply chain jobs all the way up to sales jobs and finance jobs and human resources, all sorts of different areas where there are corresponding responsibilities within the military,” Stribling said.

“Part of what we’re doing is better understanding the types of personnel that are coming out of the military, what those veterans have to offer us, and matching those with skill sets up with jobs within our system,” she said.

The unemployment rate for the nation’s former war-fighters who’ve served since 2001 fell in April to 9.2 percent, still a full point higher than the national rate. Just for male veterans aged 18 to 24, the rate jumps to 29 percent.

Coke recruiters will get special training to help them target veterans. The company will start posting jobs of interest to service members on a special website next month.