Chicago Smart Job Fair
June 11 2012
On Wednesday, June 6, 175 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their spouses attended IAVA’s second Smart Job Fair in Chicago, IL. Formed through a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment in 2011, IAVA’s partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes is looking to redefine job fairs and to connect this generation of veterans around the country with employers looking to hire and support veterans in their civilian careers and with critical employment transition and support resources. Following the success our first event in San Francisco during Fleet Week last October 2011, Chicago was up next.
In 2011, the average unemployment rate for surveyed IAVA member veterans was 16.7% and in Illinois alone, the average unemployment rate for post-9/11-era veterans in 2011 was 9.5%. More than 50 companies ranging from ComEd, Whirlpool Corp., Chase Bank, Prudential, to MillerCoors, brought jobs and resources for veterans and spouses to the historic Hilton Chicago in their effort to show veterans that they’ve got their back.
Smart Job Fair - Chicago
IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff also addressed the crowd, challenging companies to hire veterans to show America that veterans are an investment -- not a charity case.
While IAVA surveyed all attending member veterans leading up to the event, our exit survey showed even the immediate impact for job-seeking veterans. More than 62% of attendees secured a follow-up meeting or interview, and nearly 99% of veterans received contact information from participating employers. While veterans also participated in one-on-one resume reviews and got connected to other resources, 80% of veterans reported feeling more confident in their ability to get a job after the job fair.
This data will help IAVA and Hiring Our Heroes to continue making these events impactful and to connect veterans with employers and resources. With the wars winding down and more service men and women returning home to an economy still in recovery, we know that these kinds of events are one part of a critical process. Following Chicago, IAVA held its third job fair with Hiring Our Heroes in New York City in conjunction with the Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) Conference.
IAVA will be hosting three more of these events this year in Atlanta, San Francisco, and Dallas and will continue to fight to lower the veteran unemployment rate and find real jobs for members of this New Greatest Generation.
- Are you a veteran looking for an edge in the job search? Do you need help to take that first step in networking with local companies? Click here to submit your resume and sign up for one of our future job fairs. IAVA is holding job fairs in Atlanta, San Francisco, and Dallas in the next year.
- Are you a civilian that wants to help vets? Hire a hero! IAVA is looking to create real, lasting relationships with corporate contacts that are as dedicated as we are to getting jobs for the New Greatest Generation. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In just the last year, IAVA has connected hundreds of veterans with employers through innovative career fairs, helped over 10,000 veterans go to college on the New GI Bill, and provided mental health support to over 50,000 veterans—all at no cost to Member Veterans. Programs like these are only made possible through your generous support. Fight for those who fought for us and help us keep these resources and benefits completely free for new veterans and their families. DONATE >>
Not an IAVA member yet? What are you waiting for?! IAVA Member Veterans get access to exclusive career fairs, events and tickets. Join up today--membership is free and all you have to do is submit proof of OIF/OND/OEF status.
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