I would like to draw attention to the 1% of our population who selflessly serve our country; the men and women of our armed forces, both active and veteran. Combined, they account for approximately 25 million people. These courageous and brave patriots make up a mere 1% of our population but 99% of the heart and soul of this nation.
The US Chamber of Commerce launched the Hiring Our Heroes initiative in March 2011 with the intent to connect veterans and their spouses with meaningful employment. In the first year, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 130 hiring fairs in 45 states and the District of Columbia; more than 9,000 veterans have landed jobs.
Efforts will be significantly increased 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.
The Dearborn Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be a part of the April 11 Hiring Our Heroes fair taking place from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. To date, over 140 employers have committed to be in attendance. Local employers include Ford Motor Company, Severstal, Kearns Brothers, LaFontaine Automotive Group, Oakwood Healthcare and Livernois Engineering. Organizers expect close to 1000 job seeking veterans to attend. Those seeking employment are encouraged to register before April 3 at hoh.greatjob.net. In addition, various veteran service-providers will be in attendance.
The unemployment rate for veterans is significantly higher than the general population. It is our obligation to afford every opportunity to these men and women who risk their lives to protect our country and our freedom. They hone numerous transferable skills while in the military, positively impacting workplace performance; leadership, team work, loyalty and dependability. When these and other job skills are translated for civilian work, you have a recipe for an all-star candidate. These men and women fight for our country, they shouldn’t have to fight for jobs.
Jennifer Knott Giering