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Transitioning service members connect with public and private employers resulting in job offers, internships and interviews.
Colorado Springs, Co. (March 22nd, 2012) — The USO, in partnership with Hire Heroes USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring our Heroes Veterans Employment Initiative, brought together transitioning military, their spouses and caregivers with employers from a variety of industries. The Career Opportunity Day collaborative effort was held in the Colorado Springs area Wednesday connecting 36 service members and spouses who are making the transition to the civilian sector within the next nine months. Service members were pre-matched with employers from around the nation in order to engage in on-site interviews and networking in an effort to ensure that the nation’s veteran unemployment rate continues to decrease.
“Within the first five minutes I made more contacts and found more networking information – it would have taken me a week if I had not attended the Career Opportunity Day,” said SGT Jayme Smith.
The service members who are all wounded, ill and injured, many suffering from invisible wounds such as post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, were referred from the Fort Carson Warrior Transition unit. Of the companies in attendance, 10 were new to the event, including Union Pacific, Veterans Green Jobs and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
“The Career Opportunity Day mock interviews assist wounded warriors with confidence because it gives employers a chance to offer pointers on eye contact, dress and resume feedback,” said Tony Taliercio, FedEx Hiring Manager. “The small size allows a more intimate setting so employers have time to get to know the wounded warriors.”
Chad Stolie, author of Combat to Corporate, was also in attendance as a prospective employer from Union Pacific and as a former U.S. Army Special Operations officer who successfully adapted his military skills for use in the civilian marketing industry. Stolie addressed the audience during a lunchtime presentation encouraging the service members to showcase their military experience to potential employers to get hired and apply that experience to further their careers in the civilian sector.
“Companies need to look to service members for the skills that will make their companies better…The unique Career Opportunity Day format is a great chance for some of our most deserving heroes to build their skill set in resume and mock interviewing skills that will fully demonstrate their value to employers,” said Stolie.
Career Opportunity Day events build on the foundation established at transition workshops put on by the USO and Hire Heroes USA. The series of workshops, offered throughout the year, support wounded, ill and injured as they transition to the civilian workforce. The workshop program came to Fort Carson earlier this month and participating service members identified personal goals, drafted resumes and formulated job strategies to excel.
“Our focus on preparing and effectively matching transitioning service members to employers that have a desire to hire unemployed veterans is what makes this event so successful for our service members and the employers,” said Nate Smith, Executive Director, Hire Heroes USA.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring our Heroes Veterans Employment Initiative recruited today’s veteran employers with the diversity and excellent skill sets of Fort Carson service members, spouses and caregivers in mind. Launched exactly one year ago, the U.S. Chamber’s nationwide effort to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment has completed its benchmark goal of 100 nationwide career fairs, from which 8500 veterans and military spouses have been employed. For its second year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring our Heroes Veterans Employment Initiative has committed to hosting 400 career fairs throughout the nation.
“There is so much to rebuild in our own nation today. How fortunate we are to have the skills and dedication of veterans and military spouses who so resolutely show their love for our nation through their resilience and sacrifice. Wounded, ill, and injured service members, their spouses and their caregivers are some of the most driven and innovative employees that a company can hope for,” said Vivian Eng Bendewald, Hiring Our Heroes Warrior Program Director, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The USO, Hire Heroes USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold the next Career Opportunity Day in April in the Washington, D.C. area.
About the USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.
The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, Kangaroo Express, Kroger, Northrop Grumman Corporation, AT&T, Inc. and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation and Procter & Gamble. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit www.uso.org.
About Hire-Heroes USA
Hire Heroes USA’s (HHUSA) mission is to offer transition assistance, job search assistance, and job placement services to all who have honorably served in the US military – and to their spouses – in order to reduce veteran unemployment. HHUSA prioritizes veterans statistically most likely to be unemployed: veterans of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM, and veterans that are wounded or disabled. As a 501(c)(3) not- for-profit organization, HHUSA’s services are provided at no cost to the veteran. For more information, visit the Hire Heroes USA Website at www.hireheroesusa.org.
About U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring our Heroes Veterans Employment Initiative
In March of 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched Hiring Our Heroes, a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with our network of 1600 state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, our goal was to create a movement across America in hundreds of local communities where veterans and military families return every day. In our first 11 months, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted 100 hiring fairs in 45 states and the District of Columbia; more than 8,500 have gotten jobs. The U.S. Chamber will significantly expand its efforts in 2012 with hiring fairs in 400 communities, the establishment of a stand-alone program for military spouses, and a sustained campaign to enlist the commitments from the small business community to hire veterans and military spouses over the next years. www.uschamber.com/hiringourhero