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Washington State Service Member For Life Transition Summit

Three-day summit held across JBLM

Uber made an unprecedented commitment to bring 50,000 veterans and military spouses on board as drivers in the next 18 months. Photo courtesy of Facebook

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Whether you're a military spouse looking for work, a transitioning servicemember seeking out the next step or an employer searching for veteran hires, the upcoming Washington State Service Member for Life Transition Summit can help.

The event is part of a series of summits that Hiring our Heroes, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation initiative, has hosted and although it is the first to be held in the Pacific Northwest, it may overshadow its predecessors.

"This will be the biggest event since the Hiring our Heroes program started in March 2011," said Kim Morton, who handles media relations for Hiring our Heroes. "We are expecting attendance to be in the thousands because of the partnership and support with Joint Base Lewis-McChord, as well as the Dept. of Labor and the Veterans Administration."

The summit will span three days, from Oct. 21-23, across various locations on JBLM - and shuttles will be provided. There are no registration fees due to the summit's generous sponsors, which include Starbucks, University of Phoenix, Verizon, the Call of Duty Endowment, Toyota and USAA. Many of those companies will also be on site recruiting new employees during the job fair portion.

Through the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign, more than 1,700 businesses of all sizes have pledged to hire 448,000 servicemembers and veterans; even better, 265,000 hires have already been confirmed.

The first day will focus on the Senior Leader Track and look at national and state transition initiatives, provide a forum to share information and gain senior leader support for understanding and implementing transition both on and off the installation as these men and women who've served switch to civilian pursuits. The day will include employers, senior military leaders, local support organizations, chambers of commerce representatives, economic development groups, CEOs and regional support organizations from throughout the state, as well as federal partners such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, the Veterans Administration and the Small Business Administration.

The goal of day two is for representatives from each sector to help shape understanding of where jobs are now and where they will be when you are ready to transition based on economic outlook, educational programs and what small business opportunities are available. Sectors to be addressed include government and the public sector; information technology; healthcare; clean technology; advanced manufacturing; retail services; and maritime, transportation and logistics. Sessions will run in the morning and afternoon - in three-hour increments - and attendees can attend up to two sessions.

Finally, day three will be all about connecting transitioning servicemembers, dependents, National Guard members, reservists and veterans and with potential employers, schools, trades and small business resources. This combination hiring fair, college and apprenticeship fair will last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and help to ensure jobs, educational paths and entrepreneurial plans for the attendees.

"Hiring our Heroes has hosted over eight hundred hiring events for veterans and spouses and we've been able to track, through a variety of means, that 24,000 jobs have been obtained by our attendees as a result of these fairs," Morton said.

Additionally, the summit will feature seminars, roundtables, panel events, recruiter training and other facilitated discussions focused on improving competitive employment for servicemembers and veterans, not to mention countless networking opportunities for everyone present.

Though attendees do not have to register, it is preferred and can be done via Employers, however, must register in order to attend and can do so through the same site. For more information, email or call 202.463.5807.

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