ALPHARETTA, Ga. – With some 24,000 veterans living in the metro Atlanta area and many having difficulty transitioning into civilian life, a plan has emerged for a job fair targeting returning veterans.
The Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Scott Rigsby Foundation, Georgia Department of Labor, Jackson Healthcare, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre and other businesses in the community to organize a North Fulton Vets Hiring Expo for Friday, May 3, from noon to 5 p.m.
The chamber is recruiting local businesses that have jobs to offer. Meanwhile, veterans organizations are getting the word out to unemployed vets.
Scott Johnson, executive director of the Scott Rigsby Foundation, said the foundation has been engaged in supporting veterans and their families for the last four years through a health and wellness program operated in Warm Springs at the Franklin Roosevelt Institute for Rehabilitation.
“We have retreats for them to help them with issues related to the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury,” Johnson said. “The idea is to get the family settled enough to deal with the transition issues from a family point of view and get the house in order.”
The next step is getting vets back working in the civilian sector.
There are a lot of job fairs for veterans out there. But Johnson said the North Fulton Expo is different. Not only will the expo bring between 125 and 200 companies under one roof with jobs to offer, but it will include opportunities for on-the-job training and internships as well.
“The week before the event, we will invite all of the companies signed up for a two-hour workshop with state officials to let them know what are the tax incentives and grants available to the warrior to offset costs of training,” he said.
“The biggest challenge for a company [in hiring a vet] is to find a way to translate the knowledge and skills the vet has accrued in the military and apply that to a job.”
Companies that want to participate can do so by registering with Stanley Johnson at the Georgia Department of Labor by calling him at 404-232-3529 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans will have workshops for them featuring resume writing, interview skills and how to re-integrate into the civilian work environment.
Johnson said he expects 1,000 vets to attend.
“The goal here is not for vets to fill out job applications but to have a firm offer of a job. So that is what we are challenging companies to do,” Johnson said.