They're going from the front lines - to the unemployment lines. Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are still struggling to find jobs. But a new job fair on wheels aims to help.
Outside the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC today, the “Hero 2 Hired” van was connecting soldiers with employers. They call it a “mobile job store.” It’s a trailer, loaded with computer kiosks and high tech equipment, with one objective:
“Our goal is to reduce the veteran unemployment rate,” said Sean O’Donnell with the Employment Initiative Program.
It's a lofty goal. The jobless rate for junior enlisted troops stands at 23 percent right now... nearly three times the national average.
The Hero 2 Hired van travels to job fairs around the country… inviting soldiers to get inside, and get online.
In a minute and a half, they can get registered and start looking for jobs that are the right fit for their skills. Companies actually approach Hero 2 Hired, looking for employable veterans.
And right now, there are more than 1,400 Colorado jobs posted on the Hero 2 Hired website. Employers are looking for everything from truck drivers to bank tellers.
As we've learned at other military job fairs, companies are desperate to hire dependable, disciplined soldiers. But it's up to soldiers to make the connection.
"Go talk to these people. Don't be shy. Go hold out your hand, tell them who you are, what you've done, do my skill sets line up? We tell all these men and women, the best way to get a job is network," said John Lundberg, director of events for Recruit Military, at a military expo held at Sports Authority Field at Mile High back in April.
Hero 2 hired is seeing lots of results, across the country, and right here at home.
“They've had two job fairs already in Colorado. One of them with 1100 folks, and one with 900, so as this word gets around both in Colorado and nationwide I think it's really going to help a number of veterans and active duty guard members get jobs,” said US Rep. Diana DeGette (D, CO), who toured the Hero 2 Hired van today.
To get registered on the Hero 2 Hired website... click here: https://h2h.jobs/AlertMe