Hundreds Attend Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Hundreds Attend Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair

NASJRB reservists, active-duty members and veterans all in attendance.



    A Hiring Out Heroes job fair to hire veterans, active duty military and their spouses was held at NASJRB in Fort Worth Wednesday. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013)

    Hundreds of job seekers attended a job fair on Wednesday that brings employers and veterans together.

    The job fair at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Station Fort Worth attracted active-duty personnel, reservists and veterans looking to leap from military service to the civilian world.

    "It's a leap of faith coming out here, meeting these employers," Navy Chief Petty Officer Rico Remigio said. "It's a tough job market from what everyone is saying. It's kind of, it's frightening."

    Finding a job remains a difficult prospect for veterans leaving military service. The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is at 10.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Remigio has spent the last 22 years in the Navy. His last day is Friday, and his retirement becomes official in January. Now, he needs a job.

    "I have a background in operations, finance, project management," he said.

    Marine reservist Sgt. Natalie Ivy-Steadman is in the same boat. Her daughter Isabella is joining her, and she has another daughter and two step-daughters at home.

    "There's some pressure there, a little timeline crunch to find a job," she said.

    Ivy-Steadman, who will be out of the reserves by the end of the year, is looking to rejoin the local workforce.

    "It's more than just myself," she said. "There are several Marines in my unit that are kind of going through the same thing."

    Hiring Our Heroes, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce foundation, is a nationwide effort to help veterans, service members and military spouses with employment.

    "We have employers call us all the time and say, 'The next time you have an event, please let us know,' so it's really been very easy," said Gary Owens, support specialist for the Defense Department's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

    Getting employers involved has made the program a success. Since Hiring Our Heroes started in March 2011, it has held about 625 job fairs and found more than 20,000 veterans work.

    "It does mean a lot to know that these employers are military focused and looking to help out veterans," Ivy-Steadman said.

    After handing out resumes, filling out forms and talking with employers, attendees of Wednesday's job fair said they felt good about life after the uniform.

    "Absolutely; I feel very confident," Ivy-Steadman said.

    "I have one or two prospects, hopefully," Remigio said.

    The Texas Workforce Commission will hold its annual veterans job fairs next month across the state, including one at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Nov. 14. For more information, click here.