America’s veterans have put our welfare before their own in defending our country, often at great sacrifice. It’s not enough, then, to give them a hero’s welcome. They deserve our unwavering gratitude and support, especially when making the transition into the civilian workforce.
That’s why Hiring Our Heroes – an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation – teamed up with the Atlanta Braves last week to sponsor a daylong career fair for veterans, transitioning service members, and their spouses. Events such as these are part and parcel of our broader effort to meet the ever-changing needs of America’s military families and ensure that they have the resources to succeed in today’s workforce.
We launched Hiring Our Heroes in 2011 as a nationwide initiative to connect veterans with meaningful career opportunities. Working with corporate and nonprofit partners, we have helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and their family members find employment through more than 1,200 job fairs in the U.S. and at military installations throughout the world. In fact, last week’s event in Atlanta was just 1 of 44 job fairs that we have hosted this year alone.
Hiring Our Heroes helps not only service members but also their spouses. Frequent deployments can make it difficult for military spouses to find sustainable employment. To spotlight this challenge, we hosted our Third Annual Military Spouse Employment Summit in Washington, D.C., during the same week as the Atlanta Hiring Expo.
At the summit, we welcomed Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, members of Congress, and national business leaders to discuss how the public and private sectors can work together to help military spouses build successful careers and become more involved in their local communities. We also hosted a special celebration dinner to present our Hiring Our Heroes Impact Awards. These awards recognize individuals and organizations that go above and beyond to strengthen military communities and provide economic opportunities for military spouses.
With companies large and small devoting significant time and resources to support our veterans, events such as these show American enterprise at its best. Underpinning our mission is the conviction that business can be a tremendous force for good in our society – and the success of Hiring Our Heroes is a case in point. The important work we do through this program is just one of many ways that business serves a greater purpose beyond driving economic growth and job creation.
Whether it’s helping veterans transition to civilian life or their spouses find stable employment, we will continue to lead private sector efforts to effect positive change.