Hiring Our Heroes: Overview of Programs

Hiring Our Heroes Programs

One of our nation’s most cherished populations is the military community. It represents all races, ethnicities, and religions and is the most diverse demographic the world has ever known. As such, there are numerous challenges unique to this community, the greatest being the transition from military service back into “normal” life. Within this challenge are education and employment.

Gratefully, there are countless organizations that work solely to improve this transition by offering services and information relevant to each transitioning service member. One of those is Hiring Our Heroes.

This organization is a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and has been around since 2011. Their mission is to “connect the military community with civilian companies to create economic opportunity and a strong and diversified workforce.” They focus on bridging the gap between military experience and the business world by offering dynamic programs to service members, veterans, and military spouses.

Programs for Service Members & Veterans

Career Summits / #HOHSUMMIT

Career summits offer interactive panel discussions focused on improving competitive employment for our military community. These events are held on U.S. military installations around the world and usually include a hiring fair and networking opportunities for job seekers. Check out their 2020 Events Calendar.

Resume Engine

HOH has partnered with Toyota to offer a resume engine which helps translate military experience and build competitive resumes. The problems many of us faced when we left the service is how to interpret our experiences into marketable skills. While there are jobs that easily transfer into the civilian workforce, many do not. I was an Infantryman in the Army, and this resume engine showed me that I had a lot of project management experience, which went beyond the assumed leadership experiences many of us get while serving.

Hiring Expos & Fairs / #HOHEXPO

HOH has partnered with professional sports organizations and they offer Sports Expos at venues across the United States. They also offer panel discussions for jobs seekers where they can connect directly with recruiters and hiring managers from local and national businesses. Often, these expo attendees receive tickets to attend sporting events and other exclusive events. You can find these events on their event calendar.

Vet Roadmap

In the service, we appreciate actionable plans. I never went on a patrol without knowing where we were going, what our mission was, and what support we had while we were outside the wire. This Vet Roadmap is an actionable plan for your transition.

The purpose of this electronic resource is to break the transition process into three actionable steps:

  1. Customize Roadmap – In this step, you enter some basic information and choose the actions you’d like to add to your roadmap. This is done in three phases: Prepare, Transition, Excel.
  2. Search Resources – This section offers tools and resources to help the transition process.It contains links to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Wounded Warrior Project, and your very own College Recon!
  3. Find a Job – This service, powered by Resume Engine, is offered to help find a job quickly. You will work with a team of experts that will guide you through the process and introduce you to the employers that are the best fit for your needs.

Corporate Fellowship Program

The Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program (CFP) is a program that offers professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce to transitioning service members. The program is offered three times a year and is 12 weeks long. Participants are matched with a company based on their skills and preferences, and after selection they undergo extensive on-the-job training with their host company. This allows participants to gain valuable and marketable experience in the private sector. They also participate in weekly educational sessions in a classroom setting. If you’re interested, apply here.

Programs for Military Spouses

Professional Development & Networking

Hiring our Heroes developed a Military Spouse Professional Network (MSPN) that provides spouses with career development and networking opportunities in military communities around the world. From my own experience as a military spouse, it is a challenge to find employment every time we move, especially since about 80% of jobs are filled by a referral. To help the community, MSPN operates over 55 locations throughout the United States and military installations across the globe. Click here to find a network near you.

Military Spouse Hiring Events

Hiring Our Heroes offers hiring events for military spouses that connect them directly to hiring managers and human resources experts from local and national companies. Usually, there is a networking event the evening before the massive hiring fair the following day. These events are free and open to all military, veteran, and Gold Star spouses. Click the heading above to register for an event.

Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zones

These Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zones (MSEEZ), are communities that address local military spouse unemployment and underemployment issues. They work to develop relationships with local stakeholders to identify barriers to entry for military spouses seeking employment. They also offer employment-related tools and the MSEEZ Playbook to help you get involved.

AMPLIFY Career Intensives

AMPLIFY is an exclusive two-day intensive that focuses on career preparation, professional development, and networking for military spouses. Participants are connected with a mentor in their industry choice who assists spouses with sessions on salary negotiations, networking skills, personal branding, and interview techniques. These sessions are also great opportunities to network with local and national employers. With the onset of COVID-19, a number of sessions have transferred to an online format. The next online offerings happen from May 28-29th, then June 25-26th. Register at the link above.

Hiring 100K

Hiring Our Heroes has sponsored an initiative called Hiring 100K, which is a three-year campaign to motivate companies and businesses to commit to hiring 100,000 military spouses. The list of committed companies is continuously growing and includes Capital One, Hilton, Lockheed Martin, and Booz Allen Hamilton. The catalyst for this initiative was the discovery that the unemployment rate for military spouses has historically been 16%, over four times the rate of their civilian counterparts. Improving military spouse employment positively affects the retention rate in the military which has elevated the importance of this campaign.

Career Spark

Career Spark is a skills-based resume builder that was built by military spouses for military spouses. It is also sponsored by Toyota like the Resume Engine described above, and it helps maximize the work and volunteer experience a military spouse has obtained. It stores the created resumes in their database and becomes searchable to thousands of military friendly employers.

Military Spouse Fellowship Program

The Military Spouse Fellowship Program (MSFP) developed by Hiring Our Heroes carefully matches candidates with participating companies based on their skills and preferences. They will also gain valuable experience in the private sector through exclusive on-the-job training. There are a number of cohorts happening in 2020 and a couple that are listed for 2021. Use this link to apply for an upcoming cohort.

If you are a member of the military community, Hiring Our Heroes has something for you. Whether it is a nearby event, a networking opportunity, or resume help, this organization will prepare you for your next career.

(Image courtesy of FotografieLink via Pixabay.com)

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About the author

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Robert Haynes is a retired Army infantryman who has a squad of kids and is married to an active duty Soldier. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who spent his last few years in the Army as a Drill Sergeant. He is now a full-time dad, freelance writer, and out-of-work comedian.