Apr-08-16 Christie Administration Participates in Service Member Transition Summit at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
“Hiring Our Heroes” Career Fair Links Veterans and Service Members to Employment Opportunities
JOINT BASE, April 8, 2016 – Continuing the Christie Administration’s commitment to New Jersey veterans, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development today joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and approximately 200 local, regional and national employers at the Service Member Transition Summit and “Hiring Our Heroes” career fair held at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The summit featured interactive panel discussions, recruiter training, and a networking reception focused on improving competitive employment for service members, veterans and military spouses.
“My department partners with the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the American Legion to make each ‘Hiring Our Heroes’ career fair as successful as possible,” said Commissioner Harold J. Wirths of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “We additionally sponsor and host several other employment events for veterans and active military personnel throughout the year because we believe providing employment opportunities is essential to honoring these heroes who have sacrificed so much for our nation.”
Service Member Transition Summits—primarily focused on supporting service members preparing to exit the military—are a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors to connect transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses to meaningful employment opportunities.
The first day of the summit featured a keynote address by U.S. Department of Labor Assistant Secretary Mike Michaud and interactive forums led by senior military officers, public officials, and business leaders on developing strong military recruitment strategies, dispelling myths about veteran and spouse hiring, and encouraging participants to share their own company or community's best practices with key government agencies and decision-makers. The day concluded with a networking reception job-seeking attendees will had the chance to meet and interact with local and national business leaders, recruitment heads for national companies, and veteran and military spouse service agencies.
In addition to various employment workshops, today’s activities included remarks by U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Commander Major General Frederick Martin and a keynote address by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. The summit closed with a “Hiring Our Heroes” career fair and career forum where job-seekers had the opportunity to meet with representatives from more than 200 companies, many of them national employers actively seeking to hire military people, including Verizon, Prudential, Merck, and Lockheed Martin.
Today’s “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair was co-sponsored by the U.S. Army Reserve, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, the American Legion, and private employers with support from the state Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment & Training Service, and many other local partners.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Hiring Our Heroes” helped more than 27,000 veterans and military spouses find jobs. More than 2,000 companies of all sizes have committed to hire 707,000 veterans and military spouses as part of the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign. Of those commitments, there have been more than 500,000 confirmed hires.
The Department of Labor works with more than 12,000 veterans per year in its 29 One-Stop Career Centers throughout the state. The department maintains a staff of about 40 veteran representatives, most of whom are former military personnel, who assist veterans in developing resumes that properly communicate their aptitude and skill sets to employers. The representatives also assist veterans with networking skills and match veterans to job openings.
Veterans seeking employment are encouraged to contact the State Veterans Program Coordinator O. Wayne Smith at Ottis.Smith@dol.nj.gov or visit veterans staff at the nearest One-Stop Career Center.