HOLMDEL, N.J., December 5, 2013 – Continuing the Christie Administration’s commitment to Garden State veterans and their families, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno joined Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths, Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Legion in Holmdel for another in a series of “Hiring Our Heroes” job fairs. The mission of the program is designed to encourage and assist veterans in obtaining employment.
“The Christie Administration has participated in every one of the Hiring Our Heroes events hosted in New Jersey, deploying our veteran representatives on each occasion to assist our military people and their families,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “We have joined and hosted dozens of other veteran career fairs, connecting our former service members with employers who are serious about hiring them. We will not waver in our commitment to help veterans and their families transition back into civilian life.”
The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) and the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) staffed the “Hiring Our Heroes” event, which was organized and supported nationally by the American Legion and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with local partners. The Holmdel event was open to veterans, active duty military, members of the National Guard and reserve components, and military spouses. Employers began screening and interviewing candidates from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., following a 9:00 a.m. session in which veterans were able to obtain interview training and employment counseling.
“It’s fitting that we are at the Vietnam Memorial today because we have noticed that many of the veterans who have attended our career fairs searching for employment or a change of jobs have been from that era. Whether they are older or young veterans, employers should know they are getting the best employees possible, people who know how to show up on time, who dedicate themselves to a job and see it through,” said Labor Commissioner Wirths.
The companies offering positions at the job fair ranged from large corporations to small businesses. Toyota and SAP were key sponsors of the fair in Holmdel, which also was supported by the New Jersey Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, New Jersey AMVETS, the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the New Jersey State Parole Board, NBC News, and other local partners.
“It is important that we connect our veterans with employers who are looking to hire,” said Brigadier General Michael Cunniff, the Adjutant General, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “This dynamic partnership between New Jersey’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and Department of Labor will match patriotic employers with a pool of candidates that will make outstanding employees.”
“We are very grateful and pleased that we again have the support of the Christie Administration, especially Lt. Governor Guadagno, Commissioner Wirths, Adjutant General Michael L. Cunniff, and Parole Board Chairman James T. Plousis at this our 14th Hiring Our Heroes job fair since 2011,” said Bob Looby of the American Legion.
Mr. Looby, Past State Commander of the American Legion, Department of New Jersey, cited the LWD veteran representatives and the Jobs4Jersey.com employment assistant website as helpful tools for veterans seeking work.
“These U.S. Chamber of Commerce sponsored events, along with national partners, The American Legion, ESGR and the U.S. DOL, would not be the most positive in New Jersey without their support,” said Mr. Looby. “The success could not be possible without the support of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the State Parole Board, and LWD’s value-added resources with their employees, massive labor expertise, programs (jobs4jersey.com) and veterans’ job seekers data base. We thank them for the entire veteran community!”
The Christie Administration has joined and supported “Hiring Our Heroes” events from Toms River, Flemington and Somerville to Trenton, Camden and East Rutherford. LWD has a staff of nearly 50 representatives, many of them veterans, who assist former military personnel at the state’s 34 One-Stop Career Centers on a daily basis.
Since May, the Christie Administration also has been using part of a $15.6 million National Emergency Grant (NEG) used to create temporary clean-up and recovery jobs in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy to employ veterans and other unemployed residents for restoration projects at the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey in Sea Girt.
Governor Christie has launched several initiatives to assist veterans, military personnel and their families, from supporting scholarships to expanding facilities for homeless veterans. The Christie Administration also has co-sponsored employment fairs and conferences designed to help employers connect with veteran services.
The Holmdel hiring event followed several other veteran focused events conducted over the past several weeks 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 today, where the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion and others connected veterans to employment opportunities at the Morristown Armory.
The state Labor Department 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.