Hiring Our Heroes Continues Connecting Veterans with Employers

Apr 30, 2012

A Hiring Our Heroes job fair in Fort Hood, Texas.

Over the weekend the AP ran a story on the challenges veterans are having in finding work:

The anemic economy — the very reason some young people enlisted — is considered the main cause. But military and business experts also cite a lack of understanding among some employers of post-traumatic stress and a lack of appreciation for the abilities of returning troops.

"Employers immediately think the trigger part of the military," says T. McCreary, a retired rear admiral and president of Military.com. "They don't know or haven't had exposure to or forget there are a ton of jobs out there that have almost directly transferable skills — heavy equipment operators, machinists, welders, doctors, nurses, medical technicians, pilots, financial managers."

The U.S. Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) is helping veterans and military spounses by hosting job fairs all over the country and educating employers that veterans make for quality, skilled, new hires:

Kevin Schmiegel, a Marine vet [and executive director of Hiring Our Heroes], says many veterans return to communities where they have families and support systems, but where opportunities are scarce. "Most folks leaving the military are really making a decision of the heart rather than go where the jobs are," he says.

That's especially hard on younger vets who enlisted straight from high school and have little or no work history. "A large majority are going into the job market with their eyes closed," he says. "We need to help them make informed decisions" so they know where there are growth industries.

Over the next year, with partners including Capital One, Military.com, RecruitMilitary, and Monster.com, HOH will hold over 400 jobs fairs with the goal of finding jobs for 500,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014.

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