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NEWS | Sept. 19, 2016

Hiring fair is a win for Soldiers and employers

By Lt. Col. Angela Wallace Army Reserve Medical Command

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – Hundreds of service members, veterans and military spouses attended a job fair hosted by Hiring Our Heroes in Tampa, Florida at the C.W. “Bill” Young Armed Forces Reserve Center on Friday, Sept. 16.

In opening remarks, Army Reserve Medical Command commanding general, Maj. Gen. Mary E. Link, welcomed distinguished guests, service members and employers and encouraged the audience to capitalize on the opportunities the job fair provides.  “Take advantage, meet everyone you can, do everything you can to help yourself and the many other veterans here… Make sure to ask a lot of questions and thanks to the employers for being here,” Link said.

The Army Reserve is a key partner to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the Hiring Our Heroes event, which hosted approximately 65 employers and service providers who offered employment and training opportunities to more than 200 attendees.

Ms. Erin Thede, director of the Army Reserve Private Public Partnership (P3) program, shared that these events benefit everyone.  “Soldiers and veterans are not people in need; these are people that employers need.  They are drug-free, physically fit, they know where to be, when to be there… They’re top-notch Soldiers who bring value to any organization,” Thede said.

The Army Reserve P3 Office develops, integrates and directs partner relations for the Army Reserve. P3O partners with not-for-profit, for profit, and academic organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to support the Chief of Army Reserve's top priorities and the Army Reserve mission of providing trained, equipped, and ready Soldiers, leaders, and units to meet America's requirements at home and abroad.

Mr. Stephen D. Austin, Assistant Chief of Army Reserve, joined Thede and Link at the event to recognize and thank employers and partners for their part in making the job fair a success, but also to remind potential employers why hiring an Army Reserve Soldier can be a tremendous benefit to any organization.

“There are over 150 specialties in the Army Reserve, all transferable to the civilian sector - from engineering to communications to logistics to medical expertise,” said Austin.

But Austin emphasized that the benefit to hiring Army Reserve Soldiers is two-fold.  “Employing our Soldiers helps build a better Army Reserve, by enabling our Soldiers to hone their skills using the latest techniques and technology… it’s a win-win,” he said.

To date, Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, has assisted in veterans and military spouses obtaining more than 28,000 jobs through their events.

For those who are skeptics about opportunities like this one, Thede emphasized that Hiring Our Heroes is different.  “The one very distinct difference between this and a typical job fair is that this is a hiring fair, so the employer who comes to these has to come with jobs that they are prepared to offer these people.  They’re not coming to collect resumes – they are coming to hire great Americans,” Thede said.

For more information on opportunities through the Army Reserve’s Private Public Partnership Office, please visit http