WASHINGTON — Answering the President’s call to expand employment opportunities for America’s Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs will host a major Veteran-focused career fair and exposition with thousands of public and private-sector on-the-spot hiring opportunities for Veterans on Wednesday, Jan. 18, in Washington. Senior VA officials are expected to attend the event, which will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“Ensuring that Veterans are educated, trained and able to translate their military skills into careers in both the public and private-sector continues to be a top priority for the Obama Administration,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Now more than ever, America needs the knowledge, skills and abilities of our Veterans, and this generation of heroes is capable of transforming the Nation at a time when we need their leadership and ingenuity.”
Approximately 6,400 public and private job opportunities are available to be offered to qualified applicants Wednesday; the majority of which will be private-sector job offers. Other participating federal agencies include the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Labor, and EPA. Over 20 private-sector partners will participate, including Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Citigroup, Safeway, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Philadelphia Police Department, Johns Hopkins Hospital, JPMorgan and many others.
“Veterans play an important role in our Department’s mission, and every day these men and women bring their skills, talents and experience to our many mission areas in order to keep our nation more safe, secure and resilient,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. “Together, we recognize the invaluable sacrifices that Veterans make for their country, and DHS is committed to increasing Veteran employment opportunities and enhancing Veteran engagement within the Department.”
Representatives of public and private-sector organizations will interview Veterans onsite for job openings. The Career Fair will also feature interactive training sessions and workshops for resume-building, interviewing, and one-on-one career coaching.
In addition to onsite interviews and hiring, VA will showcase its VA for Vets program, which provides first-in-class online “high-tech” and “high touch” approach to recruiting, hiring, and reintegrating Veterans into civilian careers. VA for Vets offers the most advanced integrated military skills translator and career assessment tool available in the federal sector; a resume builder and search engine; and avatar-based technology that connects deployed Servicemembers to VA during their operational missions. In the coming months, VA expects to make VA for Vets technology available to other federal agencies.
“Veterans face two barriers to finding careers in the federal government,” said VA’s Assistant Secretary for Human Resources John U. Sepulveda. “First, translating and marketing their skills and experience gained during military service into language that civilian employers can understand, and, second, navigating the complex federal hiring process. VA for Vets helps them address both.”
Currently, Veterans make up 30 percent of VA’s total workforce and Secretary Shinseki has set a goal to increase that total to 40 percent. The Expo will also explain various VA programs, and Veterans service organizations will help participants understand and enroll in VA benefits and services, including new education benefits provided through the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Veterans will also learn about small-business opportunities. VA for Vets was launched this past Veterans Day as the Department’s new online platform for Veterans to join VA’s workforce.