Job fair helps veterans find employment

By Courtney Gilmore - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Seventy-two companies and organizations set up inside Minute Maid Park Thursday, looking to hire military veterans from every branch.

This is the second job fair set up by Hiring Our Heroes and Recruit Military.

Last August, 600 people pre-registered and this year 738 veterans and their spouses registered before the event. Hundreds more lined up to fill out applications for the possibility to get their foot in the door.

"We are here to help veterans -- that is our mission," said Virginia Carpenter, who works in the armed forces and was recently hired by Hiring Our Heroes. "I am a perfect example of how this program works. In June of this year, I went to a Hiring Our Heroes event as an unemployed vet. I gave them my resume and, four interviews later, I was starting my job two weeks later. This is a no-fluff program. We are really here for the vets and to find them employment."

The program started in March 2011. Since then, more than 14,000 veterans and their spouses have found employment.

"A lot of veterans don't know how to translate what they did in the military into civilian terms. So it's great just to have a fair that can help them do that and knows how valuable their skill sets are. I see their faces when they come and hand out their resumes. They have served our country and now they want to work, but are having such a difficult time finding jobs," said Carpenter.

In Texas, the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than civilians. The job fair not only offers employment opportunities, but workshops on resume writing, interview skills and advancement in education.

Hiring Our Heroes will be back in Houston on Feb. 6, 2013.

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