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Hundreds of veterans attend "Hiring Our Heroes" at Fort McCoy

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Fort McCoy, WI -

FORT MCCOY, Wis. (WXOW) – The nation-wide “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair program was at Fort McCoy on Thursday.

The program has been around since 2011, and over 1,500 companies have hired over 21,000 veterans at these job fairs.

More than 45 companies were looking to hire veterans of all ranks and levels of experience. “It really shows (veterans) that there are great companies throughout the country that value their skill-set,” Hiring Our Heroes Executive Director Eric Eversole said.

Eversole said companies want to hire veterans because they are loyal, dedicated, and they help improve a company’s bottom line.

“What we try to do is hone in on that communication gap, really get the right employers in the room. Most of our employers are veterans themselves. They go out and grab those service members and talk to them in terms which they understand,” Eversole said.

In March 2012, the Chamber of Commerce helped launch “Hiring 500,000 Heroes” to encourage companies to hire a half-million veterans by the end of 2014.

“It gives me opportunities to check out different jobs, companies, and get an idea what a company’s whole operation is,” U.S. Army Reservist Drake Smith said.

Since the national campaign to hire 500,000 heroes began, companies have hired 255,000 veterans in just over two years.

“I feel like this event, it helps out a lot of people who are looking for jobs,” Smith said.

Today, there are roughly 800,000 unemployed veterans, and the program’s goal is to continue finding jobs for our heroes. According to Eversole, 15% of veterans who participate in these job fairs are hired within the next 3-6 months.

Veterans and military spouses seeking work are encouraged to check out hiringourheroes.org.

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