[caption id=“attachment_6670” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Springfield, Virginia, USA - June 10, 2011: Hiring Our Heroes veterans jobs fair for wounded warriors. Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce”][/caption]
Through USO Warrior and Family Care programs, the USO is building a continuum of care from the battlefield to the community to provide our wounded, ill and injured troops, their families and caregivers a broad array of programs to help them. The USO has partnered with Hire Heroes USA and the Chamber of Commerce to assist in the transition from troop to employed civilian.
Through the year, OEF/OIF veterans and wounded warrior-led workshops are held at various military installations. They focus on resume writing, mock interviews with actual employers, professional work practices and translating prior military experience into a civilian career - invaluable tools for transitioning service members!
Career Opportunity Days (COD) are another transition program for wounded, ill and injured troops, spouses and caregivers. A COD is a non-traditional career fair where employers connect with seven to 10 troops based on interest and background. Employers conduct mock interviews and provide feedback, providing an additional level of support for transitioning service members to meet with employers offering jobs. These CODs are limited to 25 employers and 100 service member attendees to maximize impact and ensure the attendees don’t get overwhelmed.
“They’re small… but to us that’s an advantage. It means putting employers that want to hire transitioning service members and unemployed veterans in a room. With just a small number, but typically better prepared, soldier, marines and veterans, the effectiveness of this type of venue has been very good,” said Nate Smith, Executive Director, Hire Heroes USA. “Typically we see participants walking away with a 25% job offer rate. So its good for the companies, its good for the participants and this is helping to solve one of the significant problems in America right now.”