Hiring our Heroes: helping veterans articulate skills

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“I have submitted applications everywhere,” said veteran Ryan Meldrum.

A former Rifleman, Meldrum spent the last four years in the Marine Corps.”I was in Afghanistan for 8 months back in 2011, in Korea, Okinawa, practically everywhere around the world.”

Despite his qualifications, Meldrum can’t seem to land a good job. “Even before I got out of the Marine Corps I was looking for jobs just to get on my feet, still haven’t been able to find a security or police job. It’s definitely very frustrating. Even in the Marine Corps I took college credits, I have 17 credits plus four years active duty, and now I’m working where I’m currently working… and it’s not too exciting,” said Meldrum.

Many of the men and women who have served our country can’t find a job. Their rate of unemployment remains higher than the national average.

“It’s a shame. I work with soldiers everyday and they all have very applicable skills, they are very hard workers, they have a lot of the core attributes that the employers are looking for.

Tuesday, members of the ‘Hiring our Heroes’ organization held a job fair at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County to combat the problem.

“It’s a shame. I work with soldiers everyday and they all have very applicable skills. They are very hard workers, they have a lot of the core attributes that the employers are looking for,” said 1st Lt. Gregory Kuleba, a Pennsylvania National Guard Employment Outreach Officer.

1st Lt. Kuleba says a big problem is that service members have difficulty articulating their skills. “The biggest barrier to employment I believe is the service members resume, just because it is difficult for that service member to translate all of them skills themselves. It goes back to their resume and how that service member is selling themselves. If they believe that they are just an Infantryman or just an Artilleryman, there is so much more that you have learned along the way,” said 1st Lt. Kuleba.

During the job fair more than 50 employers were on-site with available positions. A workshop was also held to teach resume writing, interviewing skills, and how to articulate skills.

For more information on Hiring Our Heroes click here

For help from Pennsylvania National Guard Unemployment Outreach click here