Career summit offers jobs after military service

  • Published
  • By Kevin Gaddie
  • Team Eglin Public Affairs


EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- More than 200 job seekers with military backgrounds met with nearly 80 local and national employers at the Hiring Our Heroes Career Summit here July 19.

The annual event gave active duty members transitioning to the civilian workforce, as well as retirees, veterans and reservists, the opportunity to engage with military-ready companies actively hiring for open positions across various industries.

Among the industries represented were technology, health care, manufacturing, automotive, construction and security, to name a few.

“There a lot of impressive professionals here, from first-termers to career military people,” said Jerry Young, a veterans’ engagement manager. 

His company connects veterans and spouses to approximately 400 Indiana employers.

“Veterans have the ability to follow directions and complete tasks,” Young said.  “Hiring anyone of them is a win-win for them and an employer.”

Hiring Our Heroes hosts summits around the world to connect military members with meaningful careers, according to Crystal Kearns, director of events and engagement.

“Many of the companies represented here are staffed with veterans,” Kearns said.  “They recognize when they hire military talent, they’re getting top talent.  They know the value military members bring to their companies.”

Kearns said companies look for the soft skills military members possess, like leadership and management experience, diversity and sense of teamwork.

Military spouses and caregivers of wounded warriors were also eligible for work from home jobs they could do either in the U.S. or overseas, she said.

Attendees had the chance to have their resumes reviewed and tailored to fit jobs.  Many participated in mock interviews prior to meeting with prospective employers, said Megan Reagin, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness specialist.

“Some people may get hired on the spot, so we’re preparing them for the best chance for success,” she said.  “The summit gave the participants a great opportunity for career exploration.”

Master Sgt. Samuel Djonorh, 592nd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, was looking to land a job in the information technology field.

“I’m trying to get a gauge for what’s out there, so I can get my resume up to par and send it to some of these companies,” the 21-year veteran said.

Reagin heads the AFRC’s Transition Assistance Program and worked with some of the participants prior to the summit.  She hoped they left the event feeling more confident about getting jobs.

“Transitioning to the civilian world can be intimidating,” she said. ”For military members, it can feel like starting over.  We hope the workshops we offer, along with this event, helps them feel more prepared for employment after the military.”