When Heroes Get Hired, Companies Prosper and America Gets Stronger
U.S. Army Sergeant Justin Callahan was severely injured in a landmine explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan in 2004.
Back home as a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he met John Bardis. They formed an immediate bond and Bardis learned Callahan’s biggest concern was finding employment.
Bardis offered Callahan a job on the spot and was inspired to create Hire Heroes USA. It’s a nonprofit organization that provides free job search support to U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses. And helps companies connect with them.
Based in Alpharetta, Georgia, Hire Heroes USA has helped 43,000 vets and spouses get hired, free of charge. And aided some 44,000 others in job searches. The team of veterans and business professionals transforms military service into civilian success.
Hire Heroes USA Fills a Big Need
Transitioning from the military to civilian life can be a huge challenge. The heroes who serve our country need and deserve support to find meaningful and lasting careers.
Each year the military discharges 270,000 service members. Approximately 80 percent of them do not have jobs lined up. And the unemployment rate for military spouses is four times greater than the national average.
Hire Heroes USA provides personalized career coaching, expert mentoring and job sourcing. The organization helps create professional resumes and teaches job search best practices.
By connecting with Hire Heroes USA, military personnel and spouses can get connected with career mentors and mock interviewers. They can learn effective job search networking and interviewing techniques.
And receive career guidance from professionals in their desired field. Plus find career fairs and workshops.
Run for Heroes 5K Goes Virtual
During the course of the year, Hire Heroes USA conducts a number of major fundraisers.
In past years, they have included the Run for Heroes 5K, the New York City Benefit and the Marine Corps Marathon team.
This year has been a big challenge due to COVID-19. But Hire Heroes USA was able to pull off the Run for Heroes 5K on August 8 by making it a virtual event.
Normally this live event is held in San Diego. But this year it was completely virtual, with individuals running or walking the 5K distance on their own or in small groups.
Most Registrations Ever
“The fourth annual event was wildly successful,” said Danielle Bouchery, Assistant Manager, Events and Corporate Partnerships. “We had the most registrations ever.
“Of course, we had to cancel all of the in-person activities, including vendors and corporate tents. We encouraged runners to do their own fundraising.
“Our two corporate sponsors included 4Patriots, which donated 75 canisters of its Patriot Power Greens and 75 canisters of its Patriot Power Protein for the runners.
“In fact, it went so well that next year we plan to do both an in-person event and a virtual event.”
Five weeks prior to the run, Hire Heroes USA conducted a Ride for Heroes motorcycle event that raised funds for the organization and involved some corporate sponsors.
Businesses Benefit Big Time
When Bouchery and others from Hire Heroes USA reach out to corporations and other businesses, their goal is threefold.
One, they encourage the businesses to hire a veteran. Two, they determine if the business wishes to get involved as a financial partner or an event sponsor. And three, they ask if the business wants to offer any training an event.
Businesses can use the Hire Heroes USA job board to either seek out candidates for positions or to post job opportunities.
Fifty percent of the military personnel Hire Heroes USA works with holds a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Volunteer Team Grows
One thing that COVID-19 has not negatively affected is the number of Hire Heroes USA volunteers.
“Before COVID-19, we had between 700 and 800 volunteers working with us,” Bouchery said.
“Now we’re up to nearly 1,000 volunteers. With many people now working at home, they have more time.
“Some corporations have not been able to give as much as they have in the past – or not at all right now. But individuals who are not struggling financially have stepped up and been even more generous.”
Plenty of Volunteer Opportunities
There are numerous industries in which volunteers are needed. They include the federal sector, security and law enforcement, and information technology.
Plus emergency management, operations and logistics, project management, and consulting.
As well as entertainment, nursing, video game design, graphic design, and electrical work.
Volunteers with experience at the following companies are also in need: Amazon, Disney, Google, Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.
Highest Rated Veteran Employment Nonprofit
Knowing that Hire Heroes USA puts funds to good use, 4Patriots donates $1,000 per month to the organization. Hire Heroes USA is the highest rated veteran employment nonprofit on Charity Navigator. It has a 4-star rating and a 96.42 score out of 100.
Among the military personnel who have benefitted from Hire Heroes USA are the following:
- Todd, who got connected with Hire Heroes USA through a job fair. He is now a Transition Specialist at Hire Heroes USA, where he assists veterans facing the difficulties of transitioning into civilian work.
- Megan, whose brother was killed while serving in Afghanistan. Her husband also was deployed in that country, and since his return she secured a job with the help of Hire Heroes USA, enabling her to help support the family.
- Jason, who served in the Marine Corps for 10 years. He was looking for a career change after working as a police officer. Hire Heroes USA helped him land a job as an emergency management specialist.
Anyone interested in getting connected with Hire Heroes USA should visit their website at www.HireHeroesUSA.org.