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Hiring our Heroes

Reading one of my discussions on LinkedIn and having been asked if I knew any disabled vets, I am reminded that being a vet with a service connected disability can get you a job—for anyone who wants to bid on government contracts.  So I Googled “”hiring” and found this:

“On March 24, 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched its Hiring our Heroes program, a year-long nationwide effort to help veterans and their spouses find meaningful employment. The Chamber started the program in partnership with the Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS), to improve public-private sector coordination in local communities, where veterans and their families are returning every day.” http://www.uschamber.com/

“Over the next year, Hiring Our Heroes will work with local chambers of commerce, the administration, and the National Guard and Reserve to connect 100,000 veterans with more than 1,000 different employers during 100 hiring fairs across the country. The first hiring fair took place in Chicago, bringing together more than 125 employers and 1,200 veterans and their spouses. About 150 of them will end up with new jobs.” http://www.uschambermagazine.com/article/hiring-our-heroes

You probably don’t want to do the math on this… 100 veterans per employer. And I don’t suppose it would do for me to address the pretty rhetoric—“valiant men and women…” I am veteran—I am not valiant. I am just a human being doing the best I can. Probably most of us are. I am sorry, but that happy talk rings hollow to me. And how easily they overlook the fact that a huge number of these (admittedly newer) vets have been badly scarred by the long deployments and the asymmetrical wars they have fought.

I am perhaps cynical—this looks like PR to me.

But if you get a job at ne of these “hiring fairs” I hope it is the right one. Remember… these employers, should they hire you, are NOT doing you a favor. They NEED good employees. No company can operate with just bosses. So do your due diligence if you get a job offer. Check on  the company and its culture. If it is a culture of fear—either pass on the job (OK, not realistic!)  or have an exit strategy—I think that is legitimate in this climate. Build a resume but keep an eye out.

And good luck.

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