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JBLM Transition Summit registration now open

Three-day hiring fair for servicemembers, veterans and family members, Oct. 12-14

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Joint Base Lewis-McChord's (JBLM) Servicemember for Life Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) will partner with Hiring Our Heroes and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to host a three-day transition fair for servicemembers, veterans and their families Oct. 12-14, inside Hangar 9 and 10 on JBLM.

"Hiring Our Heroes transition summits are one-stop-shops for servicemembers on their way out of the military," said Communications Director for Hiring Our Heroes, Jack Norton. "They are offered networking opportunities, industry specific workshops, access to professional experts and panel discussions, and ultimately, a hiring fair with employers who are looking to hire top military talent."

Preparation is key for the success of servicemembers attending this year's transition summit.

"Many times, the biggest challenge we see with servicemembers is that they fail to prepare far enough in advance for transition," said Norton.  "Servicemembers should look at transition out of the military not as a single point in time, but as a process."

There are a few notable tips worth investing in for servicemembers attending the summit.

"Servicemembers should bring resumés, business cards, a positive attitude and a willingness to speak with every employer present," said Norton.  "Job seekers should cast a wide net, step outside their comfort zone, and explore every opportunity afforded to them in order to find their next job."

This overall transitional process doesn't just begin when discharge papers are received, rather, it should begin when the servicemember joins.

"It's not just the day that they pick up their discharge papers," said Norton.  "Just like any other mission they prepare for, they must do their research, and be ready for transition.  This summit is a perfect way to do that, and a great way for employers to meet servicemembers exactly where they are on installations."

Maintaining an ongoing relationship with employers and servicemembers can be highly beneficial to the transitional process.

With this year's summit being the third one held on JBLM in three years, there remains no question on how impactful these transition summits held on JBLM are to the military community, as well as employers interested in hiring military members.

"Joint Base Lewis-McChord is home to a large population of servicemembers," said Norton. "The installation continues to be a leader in the military community for helping servicemembers and military spouses on their next mission: finding meaningful employment."

As the military unemployment rate has continued to decline since 2011, the Servicemember for Life Transition Summit is changing their three-day format to address this change.

"Hiring Our Heroes was started at a time, in 2011, when the military community unemployment rate was really a national crisis," said Norton.  "That unemployment rate has gone down to a record low, but there is still much work to be done as certain segments of the military population continue to struggle to find employment."

Although the unemployment numbers are reducing, the efforts towards military and veteran employment will not.

"We are thrilled about what we have seen in military veteran employment, but this is no time to stop our efforts."

Hiring Our Heroes and the numerous partners involved have remained an enourmous influencer in the nation for getting veterans employed, especially in Washington state.

"Over the last five years, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than one thousand hiring events of different sizes, in all fifty states and around the world," said Norton.  "From those events alone, we have been able to confirm approximately thirty thousand hires in the military veteran and spouse community."

The numbers don't just stop there either.

"This does not include the hundreds of thousands of other hires that we have enabled through our various initiatives, campaigns and digital resources."

The 2016 Washington State Servicemember for Life Transition Summit will feature seminars, roundtables, panel events, recruiter training, and facilitated discussions focused on improving competitive employment for servicemembers, veterans and military spouses in addition to networking opportunities for all involved.

  • Day 1: This day will feature two overall sessions. The morning session will hold employment workshops for job-seekers and spouses. The afternoon session will hold a forum and panels for senior leaders including companies and employers, senior military leaders (O-3/E-6 or above), local support organizations, chambers of commerce, economic development groups, CEOs, and regional support organizations.
  • Day 2: This day will feature Industry Sector Briefings, focusing on transitioning servicemembers, National Guard and Reserve servicemembers, military spouses, family members and veterans.
  • Day 3: This day will bring together job-seekers and employers for a hiring fair, college and apprenticeship fair, and small business fair.

Interested employers and servicemembers are encouraged to sign up for various workshops and to register for the hiring fair at https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/washington-state-service-member-life-transition-summit-0.

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