500 Veterans Get Jobs at VA Hiring Fair

More than 4,100 veterans attended a 13-hour career fair Jan. 19 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Of those, more than 500 veterans received tentative job offers.

Among the federal agencies participating in the fair were the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Labor and EPA. More than 20 private companies also participated in the fair, including Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Citigroup, Safeway, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Philadelphia Police Department, Johns Hopkins Hospital and JPMorgan.

The VA is looking at ways to expand its traditional hire-a-vet program with major veteran-focused career fairs throughout the country.

“America needs to put the skills, dedication and resourcefulness of our veterans into the workforce to help rebuild an economy that lasts,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. “America’s veterans need to know that across the federal, private and nonprofit sectors, hiring managers are ready to put them to work.”

At the fair, about 700 veterans created online accounts for VA benefits or received information about VA’s programs for veterans. Thirty homeless veterans were referred to care.

The VA also showcased its VA for Vets program, which provides online recruiting and hiring and helps reintegrate veterans into civilian careers. The program offers a military skills translator and career assessment tool and includes a resume builder, a search engine and avatar-based technology that connects deployed service members to the VA. In the coming months, the VA intends to make this technology available to other federal agencies.

A hiring fair showcasing the VA for Vets program will be added to the National Veterans Small Business Conference, scheduled June 25-29 in Detroit.