Job Fair For Veterans Comes To St. Louis | St. Louis Public Radio

Job Fair For Veterans Comes To St. Louis

Aug 5, 2013

New jobs await veterans and their spouses Tuesday. Over one hundred employers will meet with veterans and their spouses during a job fair at America’s Center

Colonel Mark London and Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Stringfield of the Georgia National Guard chat with veterans during a Hiring our Heroes event in 2012.
Credit (via Flickr/Georgia National Guard)

in downtown St. Louis.

The fair is a part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s small business conference for veterans, which lasts until Thursday.

The Hiring Our Heroes fair begins with an 8 a.m. workshop for mentoring, interview skills, resume help, and job search techniques.

Senior director and Army veteran Ross Cohen says the fair comes at a great time, as more and more people are talking about veterans’ issues.

“All of this conversation, all of this momentum—whether it’s NPR, whether it’s the White House and the First Ladies joining forces initiative—we are seeing a difference," Cohen said. "The fact is, the unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans was as high as thirteen percent two or three years ago. It’s now down to underneath ten, and some numbers have even in the seven’s. Obviously that is still too high, but you are seeing it come down.” 

Post 9/11 veteran unemployment has gone down in the last several years, but the numbers are shaky at best, as waves of new veterans begin looking for jobs from month to month.

The high veteran unemployment rates have sparked national conversation about hiring veterans, which Cohen said is "not just the right thing, but the smart thing for our country."

Cohen said the program aims to embrace and use the strengths veterans already know they have and apply them to the job search and interviews.

“We are taught so many amazing things in the military. We’re taught leadership. We’re taught how to work in teams. We’re taught how to respond to deadlines that are constantly changing, and most importantly we’re taught that we are never going to take no for an answer.”

More than one hundred potential employers will be at the fair in St. Louis, which the chamber said will range from large, global companies to local small businesses.

Four hundred veterans and their spouses have already pre-registered. 

Interested veterans can go here to sign up.

Follow Kristi Luther on Twitter: kaluther