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Hiring Our Heroes job fair comes to Beaufort

By Cpl. Timothy Norris | | August 19, 2013



The South Carolina National Guard Armory is scheduled to host a Hiring Our Heroes job fair Sept. 4.

As of July 2013, the veteran unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent, roughly one percent less than the national average. The veteran unemployment rate has remained consistently lower than the national average over the last decade and the numbers continue to fall.

The DOD’s transition readiness seminar and other civilian programs like Hiring Our Heroes, have contributed to the low veteran unemployment average by preparing service members for their transition to civilian life.

"It takes 13 weeks to make a Marine, and we have to prepare them for the civilian sector in five days," said Rickey Johnson, Career Resource Management Center program manager.

The five day TRS course guides service members approaching their end of active service on what they should choose, work force or school. With various resources to help make informed decisions, the course helps prepare individuals on how to select the right school, how to write a resume or how to present themselves during a job interview.

Hiring Our Heroes took one step further in supporting service members by helping them meet employers face to face.

"Reintegrating our military families into the civilian workforce is not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do for our communities and our country," said Ross Cohen, Hiring Our Heroes’ Senior Director.

"Working with dedicated public and private partners, Hiring Our Heroes set out to create a movement across the country to mobilize local employers, local chambers of commerce, and local veteran service organizations to get veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses hired in the communities they return to every day," said Cohen. "Ultimately, we want to keep America’s military men and women serving this country – in or out of uniform."

The first job fair organized in March 2011 by Hiring Our Heroes founder, Kevin Schmiegel, attracted more than 1,000 jobseekers and more than 100 employers.

"The response to that first fair was overwhelming," Cohen said. "Now just over two years later, we have held over 580 of these job fairs and helped 20,200 veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find employment."

Part of the job fair is to help veterans learn how to market themselves to civilian businesses, or how to market the tangible skills and the intangible work ethics that are common among service members.

"Most people would say that it’s the soft skills, of discipline, dedication, focus, ability to communicate, loyalty and many others that make a veteran valuable," said Dwight Hora, the Hiring Our Heroes military workforce liaison for the Lowcountry Economic Alliance. "They bring a desire to help an organization grow and think more about the greater good than themselves. That makes them desirable."

"Whatever the case may be and at this event companies like to bring in military recruiters who know what the veteran brings and can translate it for the employer to see the value of what the veteran can bring to the table," he continued.

To learn more about Hiring Our Heroes or to sign up for the Sep. 4, job fair, visit www. uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/beaufort-sc.