U.S. Chamber Vets Initiative to Hit 100th Hiring Fair Milestone

US Chamber of Commerce

US Chamber of CommerceU.S. Chamber Veterans Initiative to Reach 100th Hiring Fair Milestone, Strengthen Military Spouse Program

Capital One Announces Sponsorship of Hiring Our Heroes
Military Spouse Business Alliance

IRVING, TX—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program announced today at the Dallas Opportunity Expo that it is strengthening its Military Spouse Business Alliance (MSBA) through Capital One’s sponsorship of the program.  The announcement comes a day before the Chamber will host its 100th hiring fair and a full month ahead of the target set last March.

Capital One, a leading member of the Chamber’s Veterans Employment Advisory Council (VEAC), will bolster the MSBA through an e-mentoring program in which employees from Capital One and other U.S. Chamber partners will volunteer to mentor military spouses.  Hiring Our Heroes launched the MSBA – a first-of-its-kind program – in January, with a goal of improving the lives of working military spouses through a series of initiatives, including mentoring and entrepreneurial opportunities.  

“Capital One is a proven leader when it comes to understanding the value of hiring veterans and military spouses,” said Lt. Col.(Ret.) Kevin Schmiegel, founder and executive director of the Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program, and a 20-year Marine veteran.  “Military spouses deal with many challenges due to frequent relocations and too often they are faced with roadblocks when it comes to looking for work.  But with the commitment from Capital One to assist these men and women, we can make a difference in their pursuit of meaningful careers.”   

“At Capital One we understand and appreciate the value that military experience brings to the workplace and we are privileged to have veterans from every branch of service as colleagues, team members and leaders throughout our company,” said Dave LaGassa, Managing Vice President, Capital One.  “The Hiring our Heroes job fairs provide a unique opportunity for veterans and military spouses to make connections and have face-to-face conversations with employers who can help put their skills and talents to work and we’re proud to be a sponsor of these events across the country.”

Today’s event in Irving is the 99th hiring fair in the Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program.  Friday in Philadelphia, the Chamber will host its 100th hiring fair nationwide, a milestone achievement for a program that began less than a year ago.

“We began this program with the mission of creating a movement and 100 communities later, we have proof that our sustained campaign is starting to take hold,” said Schmiegel.  “While we have reached our initial goal, we are only getting started. With the help of Capital One, we plan to scale our effort by hosting 400 hiring fairs in the program’s second year.  We won’t be satisfied until we move the needle on the staggering rates of unemployment facing post 9-11 veterans and military spouses.”  

In March 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the National Chamber Foundation, launched its Hiring Our Heroes program, a nationwide effort to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.  The Chamber started the program to improve public-private sector coordination in local communities, where veterans and their families are returning every day.  Working with its federation of state and local chambers and public, private, and non-profit partners, the Chamber established a network of committed employers, large and small, that understand the value of hiring veterans and military spouses. 

Since the launch of the program in March 2011, the Chamber has hosted 99 hiring fairs in 45 states and the District of Columbia.  Thus far, the Chamber hiring fairs have connected more than 95,000 veterans and military spouses with over 4,800 different employers.  As a result, the Chamber has helped more than 8,000 veterans and military spouses find employment.  “Our efforts have only one measure of success: jobs for America’s veterans and military spouses,” added Schmiegel.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.