NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As Veteran’s Week wraps up, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum held its first job and resource fair aimed at helping veterans and their families.
When 23-year-old Javon Latibeaudiere left the military earlier this year after serving nearly five years, he knew the transition home might be a challenge, said CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon.
“I’ve seen, for most, it’s a little bit difficult, a bit trying,” he said. “When you’re in the military, they don’t technically prepare you to leave the military. People don’t have the right resume, they don’t know how to translate what they learned in the military to real-life skills.”
Currently studying full-time, he was one of dozens of veterans hoping to connect with future employers.
Organizers say the point of the fair was to support those who have served.
“They’re not only skilled, but they served us every single day and it’s time we serve them in a real tangible way, more than saying thank you for your service,” said Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum President Susan Marenoff-Zausner.
More than 50 organizations were on hand to meet with veterans.
Many were recruiting for open positions and holding resume review and financial wellness seminars.
In addition to meeting with potential employers, veterans are also receiving access to professional development services. For example, they can come and get their makeup done for free and then get a professional headshot photo.
A veteran himself, Richard Descano is with the Bank of America and says programs that employ veterans are key.
“When you have that piece of mind that when you have to pivot, you don’t have to worry about ‘Will I get a paycheck? Will I be able to feed my family?'” he said. “Knowing there are programs that would take your service into consideration are so important.”
Many veterans agree, saying restarting a life from scratch can be difficult.
“Just finding something in the same career path you were in the military and the skill level,” said Abigail Simpson.
“We have to actually protect, not only protect but provide for our veterans because I’m tired of seeing veterans in cardboard boxes,” said veteran Eric Perez.
To read more stories from and about America’s veterans, see our Voices For Vets special section.