PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 12: Members of the United States military bring out the American Flag before the game between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies on Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park on April 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
It is estimated that US veterans struggle with unemployment rates twice as high as the civilian population. Young men and women who return from combat often find themselves without a job.
Hoping to make a difference in the lives of those who have served, NBC is a proud partner in a Veteran’s job fair happening this Sunday. It is called, “Hiring Our Heroes.”
This job fair is part of a national effort by the U-S Chamber of Commerce. They have committed to working with local area chambers of commerce to hold 100 veteran job fairs across the country over the period of one year.
Gary Toebben is the Chair and CEO of the LA Area Chamber of Commerce. He says this job fair is good for those with jobs to offer, and those looking for jobs. “The people who have served in our military are a talented group of people. And the skills that they have learned and the passion that they have developed for work, the discipline and the work ethic, that is what every employer wants. “
Toebben says 1,500 have signed up and are scheduled to meet with over 100 local companies. Companies that currently have work in fields such as aviation, banking, energy, manufacturing and hospitality. He says, “This event is all about matching qualified individuals with employers who are looking to hire good people.”
The veterans are already signed up. They don't have specific meetings, but will have an opportunity to meet with the companies that interest them. Toebben encourages vets to treat each meeting like a job interview.
And this event will be getting some international support for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The event has been in the works for a while, but Prince William and Catherine recently announced that they will make this event part of their US tour this weekend. Toebben believes their visit shows how revered American military service is around the world.
One local company that will be hiring is Radisson. The hotel says they are honored to recruit veterans and are hoping to hire a handful of workers at two LA locations. Ori Zavaleta, an Employee Relations Manager for Radisson, says that most serviceman are very organized and understand the importance of teamwork. For those reasons, they are a natural fit in the hospitality arena.
Zavaleta knows some veterans. She has a cousin and a friend who have both served and she understands how important this job fair is to veterans, but also to companies. “ It is very important not to forget our veterans. They have fought for our country and we need to fight for them to get jobs. “