Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair Comes To Tulsa

Tuesday, December 4th 2012, 10:07 pm
By: News On 6

Matching Oklahoma's military men and women with job opportunities has become many employers' number one mission.

Hiring our Heroes held a job fair Tuesday, targeting veterans and military spouses.

The organization said its job fairs across the nation have found jobs for more than 14,000 veterans.

Virginia Carpenter is in the Air National Guard. Like thousands of veterans, she struggled to find a job after deployment.

"I also know how frustrating it is to correlate what you did in the military into civilian terms and explain that to employers," Carpenter said.

A Hiring our Heroes career fair in Las Vegas was her key to landing a job with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

She's now in charge of fairs like the one in Tulsa Tuesday.

"The great thing about doing these events myself is I can talk to the vets and help them do what they did in the military into civilian terms and steer them in the right direction," Carpenter said.

Carpenter said these hiring fairs are growing, because employers realize the important quality skills, like responsibility and leadership that veterans can bring to the table.

"It makes my job worth it every day, knowing that I'm helping a vet or their spouse find employment and be able to have a purpose and wake up every morning and put food on their table for their family," Carpenter said.

Nearly 80 employers were at this fair searching for vets.

"They bring a lot of skill sets to the table. A lot of them fail to realize that what they did in military actually translates over to what can be done in a corporate society," said Jamal West, a recruiter for Williams Companies.

And that's what brought Gulf War Veteran Lee Mitchell out to find a job.

"It makes you feel like you have a little bit of an edge, because you are a veteran and you're not competing with millions of other people at the moment," said Gulf War veteran Lee Mitchell.

More than 200 vets and military spouses walked through the door hoping they'll soon see their names removed from the veteran unemployment list.

There are two more "Hiring Our Heroes" job fairs scheduled in Oklahoma, after the start of the year: one in Oklahoma City and the other in McAlester.