UPDATE:Hero 2 Hired Event Is A Success For Veterans

By: Todd Baucher, Shannon Houser Email
By: Todd Baucher, Shannon Houser Email

UPDATE: 5/22/2012 5:14 PM

It's not an easy transition, going from fighting for our country to fighting for a job back home.

"I need a better job for my kids and it's really hard to find a job right now," veteran Kathy Davis, says.

But Hero 2 Hired is making it a little bit easier.

"I'm very pleased. There's a lot of useful information," says Jeffery Jones, a veteran looking for a job.

The event tours the county, making a stop in Parkersburg. It brings together local veterans and local businesses.

"Hiring locally, and we'd like to keep the local people employed locally to keep the valley here for a long time," explains Kevin Grose from DuPont.

Veterans only need to bring themselves and the qualities they gain in the service.

"It seems like they have great jobs skills and they seem motivated to work, so that's great," says Connie Eades from McClinton Chevrolet, one of the local businesses representing the valley on Tuesday.

"I really try hard. I'm always there doing what I need to do. I never give up basically," says Davis.

Local businesses see it as a win win. "The veterans bring a good skill set from what we're currently looking for, industrial and maintenance. That's what we're currently looking for," Grose explains.

For more on the Hero 2 Hired event, click on the hot button.

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UPDATE: 5/21/2012 3:01 PM

Set-up is underway for the Hiring Our Heroes job fair.

It will be help Tuesday, May 22nd from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

It's aimed specifically for military veterans to find jobs in a tough economy.

With more and more troops being pulled from overseas, the joblessness rate increases. And for some veterans, it's extremely difficult to find jobs that fit their skills and accommodate their families. That is what this event is for.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring Our Heroes” Hiring Fair is sponsored by Hero2Hired (H2H) and co-sponsored locally by the Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR), the Dept of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Services (DOL VETS), WorkForceWV, OH Office of Workforce Development, West Virginia University-Parkersburg, Ohio Dept of Job and Family Services, Mid-Ohio Valley Workforce Investment Board, and the United States Army Reserve.

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With the Iraq and Afghanistan wars ended or winding down, thousands of military servicemen and women are coming home...and looking to enter or re-enter the workforce.

"I'm trainable. I can adapt and overcome," says Capt. Heather Bozeman, U.S. Army. "It's kind of cliché in the military, but it truly is what we bring to the table."

"It's a little bit daunting and nerve wracking to try to explain the skills you learned in the military and how they translate in the workplace," according to Kevin Smiegel, Army Veteran.

And last year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce began "Hiring our Heroes", a program aimed at matching those veterans with interested employers. It has held, to date, more than 100 job fairs, in cities which recently included Huntington and Morgantown. And it is aimed at a large unemployment base among local veterans.

"I think we're looking at a rate of just under 10%," says Jill Parsons, President of the Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce. "So it's matching up very closely with the national and the state unemployment rate. Our goal is to match that job seeker; someone who is a veteran, who is in active military and their spouses, with viable and real openings in local employers."

The local fair is scheduled to be held in late May at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. Parsons says it is not, in any way, intended to ignore the large non-military segment of the population that is still looking for work.

"We have great people with great skills, and to match them with openings," Parsons says. "These job fairs are for the ' Hiring our Heroes' and are just segmented for that audience. But there are lots of other job fairs where those who are unemployed or underemployed are going out to seek that resource."

For more information on "Hiring our Heroes" and on the job fair, click on the "Hot Button" on our home page.


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