While at the Hiring Our Heroes job fair, News 25 spoke to veterans who are looking to transition to civilian life, as well as to the employers who are looking to hire them.
Master Sergeant Frank Lane, an Air Force veteran, is about to retire from the military after 23 years of service. Now, he's looking for a civilian job, and Tuesday, he found a few job openings that fit his qualifications. As a military veteran, Lane says he has a set of unique skills. Lane says, “We bring a lot of discipline for one thing. We've been called to duty many times in a lot of different places, so many different situations, so many different experiences, so many different backgrounds that come together as a team.”
Veteran job seekers say job fairs specifically tailored to them make it easier to transition from military to civilian life. Lane also says, “If a company has come here to this, they understand our background a little more than maybe a lot of other civilian companies, so maybe they understand some of the jargon we might be talking about, or some of the positions we hold that might be unique to the military.”
Speaking the same language can be difficult for veterans at other job fairs, but the companies at Hiring Our Heroes mentor, as well as interview, potential candidates. Sergeant Ty Dickson of the Jacksonville Police Department says, “We're able to explain more than you can read on the computer, and then we can guide them into what position is best for them as well.”
Dickinson was looking to fill over 100 positions Tuesday. Recruiters like Dickson, who understand veterans' skills, make the job search easier for attendees. Jeremy Williams, Petty Officer 2nd Class, of the Seabee Base in Gulfport, says, “And I think that's one of the things people have trouble with, is they basically don't want to branch out, but I think this job fair helps them branch out and gives them the skills to do so.”
Hiring Our Heroes hosted a workshop before the fair started to help coach veterans on resume writing and interviewing. Since March of 2012, 265,000 veterans have found jobs through Hiring Our Heroes.