It was a great meeting yesterday at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV), with just over 35 employers in attendance for the ‘Employer Breakfast & Discussion Regarding Hiring Veterans’ hosted by the The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), The New England Center for Homeless Veterans, and America’s Job Exchange (AJE).
The meeting started out with a warm welcome from NECHV CEO Andrew McCawley, familiarizing the audience with the organization’s mission to assist Veterans facing or at-risk of homelessness, and to eventually end homelessness among veterans.
Next to speak was America’s Job Exchange Founder and CEO, Rathin Sinha, sharing with employers how AJE helps Federal Contractors connect with and hire veterans and provide detailed tracking and reporting to work through OFCCP audits. He also touched on the support that AJE offers veterans as they prepare for the transition to civilian workforce with online tools including a skills translator, resume writing and more.
The U.S. DOL’s OFCCP Office’s District Director Rhonda Aubin-Smith addressed the audience and emphasized that while OFCCP does conduct audits, that they can also be a resource to employers. She encouraged employers to reach out to their local OFCCP office and ask about the organizations in their areas, like NECHV, that work to find Veterans employment, to create direct relationships. For AJE customers, we encourage you to review your job detail reports to see where your jobs are going and use it to create your own networking strategy!
To share the Veterans perspective with employers, we heard from Sarah Gonzalez, Employment Manager, Veterans Training School who discussed the benefits of hiring veterans such as their team-focused attitude and adaptability. Following Sarah was Mike Buonocore, Operations Dispatch Manager, EnerNOC, who described his own experience as a veteran transitioning to the civilian workforce and how he makes it a point to give Veteran resumes a little ‘extra attention’ because he knows the value of their experience – that Veterans are “ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things.” We also heard from Cesar Gilbert, a Veteran job seeker, who talked about the skills he gained during his service and how he was able to apply that in his civilian career.
Finally, the meeting wrapped up with a great Q&A session with Debby Wiesen, Vice President and Dean, NECHV/ Veterans Training School and Mandi Costa, Assistant District Director, U.S. DOL OFCCP, which touched on issues such as the importance of skill translation on Veterans resumes, relocation costs and post-job-placement support for Veterans through various organizations.
AJE is looking forward to more events like this and hope that more of our customers will be able to join in.