The “Hiring Red White and YOU” job fair came to Reliant Center. It’s a statewide effort to find jobs for veterans and service members. Over a hundred companies participated in the effort, looking for a few good men and women to add to their payroll.
Gwen Hiller is with a local industrial company looking to hire.
“They have an amazing work ethic is what I’ve seen. They’re organized; they’re hard working; they’re dedicated and they’re good people. And so, those are the type of people we want to hire.”
Veterans Danielle Smith and Kimberly Mejia were working in tandem, giving each other encouragement.
Mejia: “It’s a good opportunity for veterans to come out and meet people and try to find a job and get back into the civilian side.”
Smith: “I was a stay at home mother for a little while. Now my kids are in school and I’m ready to start my civilian transition. Did school, thanks to the Montgomery GI Bill, paid for, and now I’m ready to start using my degree.”
Hernandez: “This is a can’t miss proposition.”
Smith : “It is, it’s a good opportunity for us to be able to go, because sometimes we’re too nervous just to go out there ourselves, and they’re here for us.”
Larry Temple is executive director of the Texas Workforce Commission. He says connecting the vets with local employers is a plus with their experience and discipline.
“Veterans are a great hire. They know how to get up early. They know how to get to the job on time, and that’s a big part in today’s world. Everybody’s not doing that, so vets make a, they got good training. They’ve got good dedication, good leadership skills, and the training that they got in the military, so many times it translates directly into the private sector. Sometimes it takes a little extra training specific, maybe to that particular company, but they make good hires.”
The program encourages the estimated 470,000 Texas employers to help veterans transition into the civilian workforce.
“There are a thousand people a day net moving into the state of Texas and there’s a lot of jobs being created here. And that means that there’s great opportunities for veterans to find work. Maybe in some states there’s a problem, but I think evidence in the companies that are represented by those jobs here today. I think it looks very bright for our veterans.”
There are an estimated one million unemployed veterans in the U.S. right now. Another one million are expected with the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.