BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Military veterans had the opportunity to meet with more than 25 employers during the first "100,000 Jobs Mission Hiring" event at Naval Support Activity-Bethesda (NSAB), in Bethesda, Md., Feb. 25.
The event, hosted by Naval District Washington (NDW) Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC), attracted more than 1,000 veterans and military family members. The event supported First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's "Joining Forces" initiative, which recognizes the continued need to serve our nation's veteran's and military families.
The First Lady and Dr. Biden have been leading White House efforts to reduce veteran and military spouse unemployment with America's private sector in response to a Presidential challenge to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.
In the same spirit, 10 employers launched the 100,000 Jobs Mission in March 2011. The coalition has since grown to 29 member companies who collectively hired more than 6,600 veterans under this program last year. Working in conjunction with the NDW's FFSC, this hiring event connects the two endeavors in a more powerful and efficient effort that has one goal: to hire our nation's veterans and military spouses.
"This coalition, the 100,000 jobs mission, is really about hiring veterans. We're serious about hiring veterans," said Eddie Dunn, senior vice president of JP Morgan Chase's Veteran's Affairs Team. "The unemployment rate of the post-9/11 veterans is well above the national average. We have a national issue that needs to be addressed, and I think this coalition is doing that."
This event gives not only veterans the opportunity to find lasting careers but employers the opportunity to hire veterans with needed skills.
"What's terrific about this event is that it is win-win," said Capt. Frederick (Fritz) Kass, commanding officer Naval Support Activity, Bethesda. "Veterans who are looking for a job can come here and meet with over 20 organizations, and the organizations are very excited to be here because what they look for in an employee is what the military veterans bring to the table.
Companies who participated in the event said that the veterans work ethic is the kind they look for in their employees.
"Veterans by their very nature have certain attributes and value systems that are very attractive to any employer," Dunn said. "They bring team skills, leadership experience, managerial skill, and all kinds of skill sets that are very valuable.
The event had a diverse mixture of companies who are looking for employees with the skills that military veterans posses."
"The work ethic that veterans have transcends all jobs," said Deborah D'Attilio, Enterprise Holding Group Human resources manager. "They are team-oriented, hard working and have excellent leadership skills.
Veterans who attended the event were given the opportunity to be hired on the spot as well as the chance to receive job offers.
"I came here today because I am getting out of the Navy, and I wanted to look and see what kinds of careers are out there," said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class William Book. "I have one job offer from JP Morgan Chase as a mortgage manager as well as several companies who will be contacting me after this event."
Military members who have plans to get out of the military should start planning now, advised Book.
"If your time in the military is almost over, don't wait to start planning, even if your still a year or two out," said Book. "Job offers will come through networking, not email and submitting applications alone. You have to meet these people, get your face known, get your name known."