By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Kofonow, Defense Media Activity
SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- Employers from across the country attended the 5th annual Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Conference, May 19-20 in San Antonio.
The purpose of the two-day conference was to bring employers and wounded warriors together in one location to match their employment needs.
The first day was employer-focused, with sessions designed to share best practices and innovative ways to recruit, hire, train, and retain wounded warriors and veterans.
"We are now a decade and a half into the longest sustained combat operations in American history, and the great news is, the historic news is, that over that last decade and a half we have brought more Americans home alive than in previous conflicts that have come home in flag draped coffins," said Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Juan Garcia III. "The challenge that comes with that is to successfully reintegrate them into American society. Every year we have held a Wounded Warrior hiring conference around the country to help with that reintegration."
San Antonio, has one of the nation's premier medical facilities, offering highly sophisticated medical care for service members, family members, civilians, and veterans. The San Antonio Military Medical Center plays a critical role in taking care of Wounded Warriors in Transition from the Global War on Terrorism.
"With Brooks Army Medical Center, so many of our folks have recovered there and that's our burn injury specialist and that injury is one that will tie people to south Texas for a long time," said Garcia. "San Antonio is a lot of these Marines, Soldiers, and Navy SEAL, EOD's new homes and they love it. They want to build a family here, build a career here and this conference is going to help them do that."
The Department of the Navy and the USO joined forces to connect business and industry leaders with Wounded Warriors and veterans who are qualified, committed and ready to work.
"The USO is excited to support the Department of the Navy's Wounded Warrior and Veteran Career Fair," said USO CEO and President J.D. Crouch II. "An event like this is important because it helps bridge the workforce gap by connecting troops with viable civilian job opportunities from some of today's top industry leaders."
Several panel discussions were held giving employers and wounded warriors an opportunity to share their perspectives.
The second day of the conference features the Hiring Heroes Career Fair with more than 90 federal agencies and private industry employers presenting job opportunities for wounded warriors, veterans and their spouses.
Workshops offered include connecting veterans and transitioning service members to available benefits, employment resources for military spouses and caregivers, and a tutorial on how to use the federal government's job application tool, USAJOBS.
The 2015 Wounded Warrior and Veteran Hiring and Support Conference is sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.