With the success of its recent "Hiring Fair" in Washington, which resulted in more than 500 tentative job offers for Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs is looking at ways to expand VA's 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 K. Shinseki. "America's Veterans need to know that, across the federal, private and non-profit sectors, hiring managers are ready to put them to work."
Over 4,100 Veterans attended the 13-hour career fair Jan. 19 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. To date, more than 500 Veterans received tentative job offers and other job offers may follow. About 2,600 Veterans participated in interviews with public and private employers.
Participating federal agencies included the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Labor, and EPA. They were joined by over 20 private-sector partners, such as Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Citigroup, Safeway, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Philadelphia Police Department, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and JPMorgan, among others.
About 700 Veterans created online accounts for VA benefits or received information about VA's extensive array of programs for Veterans. Thirty homeless Veterans were referred to care.
At the fair, VA showcased its VA for Vets program, which provides an online "high-tech" and "high touch" approach to recruiting, hiring, and reintegrating Veterans into civilian careers. VA for Vets offers the most advanced integrated military skills translator and career assessment tool available in the federal sector. It includes a resume builder, search engine and avatar-based technology that connects deployed Servicemembers to VA during their operational missions. In the coming months, VA intends to make VA for Vets technology available to other federal agencies.
On Jan. 25, VA officials announced that a Hiring Fair, showcasing the VA for Vets program, will be added to the National Veterans Small Business Conference, now scheduled for Detroit from June 25-29.
Veterans make up 30 percent of VA's total workforce, and Secretary Shinseki has established a goal to increase that total to 40 percent.