NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It is tough enough for veterans to find civilian jobs when they end their military duty. In the current job market, the situation is even worse. On Tuesday, more than 2,000 veterans crowded a Midtown hotel to attend a job fair just for them.
For 4 years U.S. Navy technician, Nelson Romero loaded live ammunition into airplanes on a marine amphibious ship. Now, he is looking for a job. Like many vets, he has found the transition to civilian life challenging.
“Many of the service members come back and they don’t know how to tell their story — to tell the story of how does a person who’s operated a .50 caliber machine gun fit into JP Morgan Chase,” Jeff Klare of Hire Disability Solutions told CBS 2′s John Metaxas.
The fair offered not only jobs, but resume tips and mentoring opportunities. The intended message from employers to veterans was they were wanted.
“Their leadership, their dedication to work. So a lot of those qualities we want to bring into Verizon,” Nick Relacion of the broadband and telecommunications company said.
With more than a hundred employers at the fair, it was a welcome sight for many veterans.
“When I came in I was taken aback. So many companies are really interested in vets now and I think that’s a real good thing,” former U.S. Army Corporal Louis Hawthorne said.
The most important part of the job fair was the opportunity for the veterans to market their strengths and abilities.
“I have a degree in communications and networking and I also qualify in security background as a military police,” U.S. Army Specialist Pierre Best said.
“I was a financial management specialist at Fort Riley, Kansas,” Army vet Tetiana Slubitska said.
“We know that they’re committed, they’re loyal and dedicated to whatever they put their mind to” Klare said.
The organizers want to get the word out that veterans make great hires. They are planning to hold 100 more job fairs over the next year.