Civilian employers are Hiring Our Heroes

Master Sgt. Angie Cooper (center), U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, talks with Crown Lift Trucks representatives in a room crowded with company recruiters and job hunters during the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. More than 50 companies, with over 50,000 job openings, set up tables to talk with active-duty Airmen, recent retirees and spouses. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

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Master Sgt. Angie Cooper (center), U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, talks with Crown Lift Trucks representatives in a room crowded with company recruiters and job hunters during the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. More than 50 companies, with over 50,000 job openings, set up tables to talk with active-duty Airmen, recent retirees and spouses. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

Companies reach out to Airmen, recently separated and spouses

The key to success is often the ability to match one group’s needs with the talents of another. That is the goal of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program — to connect companies that have jobs to fill with transitioning service members looking for their next career.

Adam Rocke, Hiring Our Heroes senior director for external engagements, brought his program to Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on June 22 to help connect Airmen about to transition to civilian life, those recently separated and spouses with more than 50 companies looking for reliable people to hire.

“Hiring Our Heroes is here to enable Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and its transitioning service counselors and program, to help the transitioning service members, the local veterans, the military spouses in this community, be informed and find meaningful employment,” Rocke said.

The first challenge was to teach people who had been in the military their entire adult life how things work and what to expect in the civilian job market.

“You come here, and you’ll learn what you don’t know about the civilian community out there,” Rocke said of the transitioning Airmen. “You’ll learn what it takes to get a job, what industries are out there … the details about an interview or how to build a network.”

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Brian Case, representing Crown Lift Trucks, talks with Maj. Rich Dill, Air Force Institute of Technology, about career opportunities during the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Crown, part of the material-handling industry, was looking for Airmen about to separate or recently separated from the service to fill positions with the company. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

Brian Case, representing Crown Lift Trucks, talks with Maj. Rich Dill, Air Force Institute of Technology, about career opportunities during the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Crown, part of the material-handling industry, was looking for Airmen about to separate or recently separated from the service to fill positions with the company. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

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Brian Case, representing Crown Lift Trucks, talks with Maj. Rich Dill, Air Force Institute of Technology, about career opportunities during the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Crown, part of the material-handling industry, was looking for Airmen about to separate or recently separated from the service to fill positions with the company. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

The morning was class time.

“We’ll do about three hours’ worth of intensive classes where we’ll give them content about industry,” he said.

The afternoon session gave attendees an opportunity to put what they learned into action.

“We’ve got nearly 60 companies with over 50,000 open positions right now,” Rocke said. “So there’s something here for everybody.”

Master Sgt. Michael Fitzell, 88th Medical Group, is looking at finishing a 23-year Air Force career in the next six to eight months. He attended the morning classes and then wandered among the tables set up by the various company representatives.

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Senior Master Sgt. Joshua Stephenson, 88th Security Forces Squadron, listens to a team from Enprotech tell him about career opportunities during the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

Senior Master Sgt. Joshua Stephenson, 88th Security Forces Squadron, listens to a team from Enprotech tell him about career opportunities during the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

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Senior Master Sgt. Joshua Stephenson, 88th Security Forces Squadron, listens to a team from Enprotech tell him about career opportunities during the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

“It’s been great,” Fitzell said. “The ability to learn about LinkedIn, how different entities hire us, as well as being able to talk to them, getting some insight on what kind of opportunities are available for people that are transitioning out of the military, is great.”

Rocke said the current employment environment is good.

“Companies are looking for talent,” he said. “They’re looking for employment and they’re coming to us now because they know that the military community has the talent they’re looking for. (Veterans) have the skill sets and they have those intangibles that they’re looking for.”

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Teresa Burch, a recent military retiree, listens to Patrick Moynihan, a Crown Lift Trucks representative, discuss job opportunities while attending the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

Teresa Burch, a recent military retiree, listens to Patrick Moynihan, a Crown Lift Trucks representative, discuss job opportunities while attending the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

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Teresa Burch, a recent military retiree, listens to Patrick Moynihan, a Crown Lift Trucks representative, discuss job opportunities while attending the Hiring Our Heroes event June 22 at Hope Hotel near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

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