Veterans, Fortune 500 CEOs and mentors united at a Hire Our Heroes, Veterans Career Path Seminar on Jan. 25 in Bluemont.
Held at Boulder Crest Retreat, the one-day, 12-hour comprehensive employment workshop targeted current and transitioning veterans to prepare them for a civilian workforce and find new positions.The seminar, free to all transitioning veterans, served to empower them, as well as employers, and offer the knowledge, skills and innovative tools necessary to optimize a strategic workforce, according to a Hire Our Heroes blog.
According to HireOurHeroes.org, 64 percent of veterans experience difficulty transitioning from military life to the civilian workforce. The group noted that service members who attend transition-assistance programs, on average, find their first post-military job an estimated three weeks sooner than those who do not.
Event information from Hire Our Heroes noted that the training received at the seminar allows veterans “a valuable edge over other applicants.”
The seminar allowed local Fortune 500 CEOs to meet and interact with the veterans, and included a 90-minute kickoff from the Dale Carnegie Institute as well as Hire Our Heroes’ professionally-trained facilitators who presented educational workshops.
Dan Caporale, executive director of Hire Our Heroes said, “Hire Our Heroes (HOH) events are unlike the myriad of other events that you will attend throughout your transition. Our goal is to help make a meaningful transformation and consequential impact in the career transition path of the veterans we serve and I believe this event achieves that.”
The day’s topics included finding employment, transitioning military skills to work skills, responding to difficult interview questions, navigating the web and using LinkedIn and social media in job searches.
The veterans learned interview techniques, current occupational and labor market conditions and resume and cover letter preparation. They also received an evaluation of their employability relative to the job market and information about the most current veterans’ benefits.
And, according to Caporale, “Hire Our Heroes (HOH) provides a free, round-trip ticket to qualifying veterans going on job interviews anywhere in the country Southwest Airlines flies.”
Each veteran who attended the seminar also left with a draft resume, a LinkedIn profile, more than 100 hours of free online transition courses and a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, according to Hire Our Heroes.
The event also included breakfast, lunch, dinner and a culminating fireside chat encouraging veterans’ intimate communication with the CEOs and Hire Our Heroes mentors.
The seminar was capped at a maximum 24 veterans to give them the attention they deserved, and more workshops are planned throughout the year.
Following the event, veterans were asked to fill out a survey of the day and sum up the experience in two sentences or less. One summary read: “An excellent opportunity to hear inspiring stories and relevant advice from people who have bee in our shoes” while another said, “The day was well-planned with great content. The mix of experienced veterans in civilian life and corporate America worked very nicely. It was a very powerful day.”
For more information, visit hireourheroes.org.