WEST ORANGE, N.J., November 14, 2012 – The Christie Administration continued its commitment to veterans and their families today, as state Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths and members of the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs joined Essex County One-Stop Career Center employees at a job fair to help New Jersey Veterans connect with meaningful employment opportunities.
Approximately 200 veterans sponsored by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Essex County One Stop Career Center. More than 50 employers set up interview tables and accepted applications, including NetCentric Technologies, Foley Cat, Thorlabs, ChemTec Pest Control, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Custom Protective Services, Advo-Serv and many more.
“Since the start of this Administration, we have been involved in dozens of these career fairs and veteran employment initiatives, giving veterans and their family members an opportunity to meet face to face with employers who have real jobs opportunities to offer. This is the very least we can do for our neighbors, friends and relatives who put their lives on hold to serve our country,” said Labor Commissioner Wirths.
The event marks the Third Annual “Your Best Bet-Hire a Vet” Job Fair hosted at the West Orange armory by the Labor Department, DMAVA and Essex County.
“Service members of America’s all-volunteer military have served with distinction safeguarding our nation’s interests,” said Brigadier General Michael Cunniff, The Adjutant General, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “This job fair provides veterans the necessary resources and opportunities they need and deserve after they return home.”
The event followed several days of activity launched last week in New Jersey to assist veterans, including a two-day “Stand Down” in Morristown attended by Commissioner Wirths. The Department of Labor partnered with the New Jersey Fallen Soldiers Foundation and the Community of Hope at the National Guard Armory in Morristown to aid former service members who are homeless and in-need of assistance to become self-sufficient. The two-day event assisted about 300 veterans.
The Christie Administration also assisted in the “Hire our Heroes” job fair held in Morristown earlier last week, when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion and others connected veterans to employment opportunities at the Morristown Armory on November 5.
Governor Christie has taken many steps to help returning and former New Jersey service people, including expanding the highly effective Veterans Haven program to serve veterans in the northern part of the state at the site of Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital. Governor Christie also signed various pieces of legislation to assist veterans, including:
– Strengthening the support network for military families after the death of a service member;
– Establishing a program that awards high school diplomas to veterans who dropped out to serve in World War II, Korea and Vietnam;
– Honoring families of military killed in action with a special Gold Star Families license plate;
– Establishing the New Jersey National Guard State Family Readiness Council Fund;
– Allowing for easier access to services and incentives for veterans by identifying them as a member of the Armed Forces on a driver’s license or identification card;
– Ensuring funding for the Veteran to Veteran Peer Support Program telephone helpline; and
– Funding programs that put veterans back to work
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development is currently working to assist 18,000 veterans through its veteran representatives at the many One-Stop Career Centers. Veterans seeking employment are encouraged to contact the State Veterans Program Coordinator Michael Laun at Jobs4JerseyVets@dol.state.nj.us; call 609-292-2468; or visit veterans staff at the nearest One-Stop Career Center.