Hiring Our Heroes

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 9:21am

NBC sponsored job fair connects veterans with jobs.

The struggle to find work continues for many Americans.

Unemployment stands at 8.7 percent.

The situation is even worse for military veterans.

12.1 percent of those who've served their country are currently out of work.

NBC News has teamed up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help veterans get back
into the workforce with "Hiring Our Heroes" job fairs being held today in Chicago, Fort Hood, Texas, and in New York City aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid.

It's a push that started a year ago when 20 year Marine Corps veteran Kevin Schmiegel created the "Hiring Our Heroes" program, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

This year the job fairs spread to 400 cities and towns, to help an estimated one million veterans looking for work.

It's a group retiring Army Captain Heather Bozeman is about to join.

"I'm trainable. I can adapt and overcome. It's kind of cliché in the military, but it truly is what we bring to the table," she says.

Yet self promotion and touting one's own talents means deviating from the military mindset.

"Most veterans have never done a job interview until this step in their life," notes retired General Stanley McChrystal.

Facing that challenge is just the start for veterans trying to transition to the private sector.

"It's a little bit daunting and nerve wracking to try to explain the skills you learned in the military and how they translate in the workplace," Schmiegel says.

But putting veterans on the same page as employers, and eventually on their payrolls, is what "Hiring Our Heroes" is all about.

Last year's job fair managed to place 8,500 veterans in jobs, but the urgency of that effort is increasing with up to a million new veterans expected to soon be released from active duty.


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