Hundreds of veterans expected at Raleigh job fair
Posted May 29
Raleigh, N.C. — Hundreds of veterans will descend on the Hilton North Raleigh-Midtown hotel on Thursday to meet with about 70 employers during the fourth annual Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Conference.
Sponsored by the Department of the Navy, the conference will also feature workshops that will allow veterans to take career assessments and work on setting goals.
Juan Garcia III, assistant secretary of the Navy for Manpower & Reserve Affairs, said officials at Thursday's conference will work on helping veterans figure out how their military skills can translate into the private sector.
"After the longest sustained combat operations in American history, one of the challenges we find is providing a way for veterans for translate the skills they've acquired into the civilian, private sector," Garcia said.
Garcia said the latest group of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are more qualified than they've ever been.
"We're not asking people to hire them because of the patriots they are, especially here in the Raleigh-Durham area, or because of the charitable individual they are," he said. "We are asking them to hire them because these are folks you want to trust with your business, you firm, your operation. Do it because it's good for your bottom line, good for your shareholders, good for your business."
At previous conferences, many employers offered veterans interviews and positions.
The unemployment rate for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dropped to 9 percent in 2013, but it is still higher than the national average. The jobless rate for all veterans was 6.6 percent in 2013.
"America wants to help, so the gap between the overall unemployment rate and the veteran unemployment rate has come down. We want to focus on the wounded warriors," Garcia said.
Thursday's job fair is free. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the conference begins at 10 a.m.