Hiring Our Heroes
15 veterans hired, 30 land follow up interviews from job fair at War Memorial Center
MILWAUKEE - A job fair for veterans has concluded at the War Memorial Center along Milwaukee's lakefront.
TODAY'S TMJ4's Steve Chamraz reports 448 veterans signed in as attending the event; 15 accepted jobs on the spot; at least 30 more set up follow-up interviews.
Although the job fair was beneficial for veterans, employers said it benefits them just as much.
Steven Stewart was confident he would find a job. "It's just a big mess but things are gonna get better," said Stewart. "Job market is hard so any little help to steer you in the right direction is a good tool right now."
That Marine Corps vet stopped by the John Crane booth. John Crane is a producer of hydrodynamic bearings. Located in Grafton, they're looking for machinists and engineers."There is such a shortage of machinists and its only going to get worse as our population ages so we are looking to fill those gaps," said Kristy Reed of John Crane.
John Crane attended Thursday's Hiring Our Heroes job fair because they expected to bring with it a lot of potential employees.
Sharon Zoolsdorf is working on putting her life back together -- after a three year deployment with the Army reserves.
She was one of hundreds of veterans who came to the War Memorial Center hoping Thursday is the day their luck changes.
"It's pretty tough. The market is hard. When I go on the website its (tough) trying to find a position that pays enough," said Zoolsdorf.
Veterans heard pitches on a wide range of jobs at varying salaries.
At the Patrick Cudahy table, they're offering 30 temp jobs -- that will soon become full-time.
And veterans are exactly the kind of employees they're looking for.
"They give us the opportunity. They already have the discipline, they know what it takes to be a member of a larger team and that's what Patrick Cudahy is," said Jim Wenzler of Patrick Cudahy.
Natasha Persha hoped to land her first job since graduating college in 2011.
She was here with her husband -- a veteran of the US Marines.
"Seeing all the companies that are here and the government agencies as well, I do have more hope than I did when I graduated," said Persha.
Almost every veteran at the Hiring Our Heroes event walked away with something, but in a discouraging job market, the most important thing they are leaving with is a little bit of hope.
The national rate of people looking for jobs is 8.2%, for post-9-11 veterans it's 9.5%; for female veterans -- 10.1%.
Click here for more details on Hiring Our Heroes.