NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The overall unemployment rate has been dipping in recent months, but veterans back from the battlefield continue to have a tough time finding work.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosted its second annual “Hiring Our Heroes-New York” job fair at the 69th Regiment Armory, at 68 Lexington Ave. in Kips Bay, on Wednesday.
As CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, Agatha Funes spent 10 years in the U.S. Army reserve, and toured in Iraq and Afghanistan. But since being discharged, she has had a hard time looking for work.
“I’ve tried to seek employment, and because of military MOS, it does not transfer over to civilian, so this opportunity just for veterans to open the door is great,” she said.
Funes was hoping the “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair would lead to gainful employment. More than 100 companies were present to recruit veterans and their spouses.
“They bring in mission-driven attitudes,” said Verizon military recruiting officer Evan Guzman. “They have the skills sets we seek,”
Stephanie Fortunate of Canarsie, Brooklyn, spent 10 years in the Army reserves – including two tours in Iraq.
“I know these prospective employers are looking for us, so it makes it a little easier for us,” Fortunate said.
Martin Quevas joined the National Guard to pay off for college, but it is no longer paying off.
“The recent budget cuts with the sequester have removed my tuition assistance to go to college,” the National Guard Army medic said.
He came to the job fair to find a job and supplement its income.
“It’s nice that these guys were able to put this together for us,” he said.
This is the second year of “Hiring Our Heroes.” There were veterans present who had success last year, and returned representing companies that hired them.
Owen Finnigan made the transition a year ago from a Marine in combat to an operations analyst at a bank.
“Capital One is nothing like Afghanistan,” Finnigan told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.