JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – From September 22-23, Joint Base Lewis-McChord hosted the annual Hiring Our Heroes to Career Peak to bring transitioning military, veterans and service members military family with federal and state agencies, military and local community leaders and companies looking to hire them.
Day one started at the Carey Theater and offered a series of career planning and development workshops and employer roundtables. Opening remarks were made by Major-General Xavier Brunson, commanding general of the I Corps.
“It’s a matter of expediency,” Brunson said. “An opportunity for you to learn that there is life after the army. “
He implored the participants to take advantage of all the resources at their disposal.
Over 120 companies and over 200 job seekers have registered to attend the event.
“When I got out, I didn’t have a stable job,” said Andrew Parks, program coordinator at the Career Training and Placement Foundation.
Parks worked in the air defense artillery branch of the United States Army for eight years and retired as a staff sergeant.
At the time, he had his wife and three children, but no plan. He followed the training of the CPI Foundation and soon after became an employee of the company.
“It is important for me to participate in these events because I remember being in their shoes years ago,” said Parks.
The first day ended with social networking at the American Lake Conference Center to connect executives and job seekers with top employers.
The second day started at Hangar 9 on McChord Field. Hundreds of participants stood outside, eager to learn more about the many opportunities available to them.
One of those participants was the US Air Force Master Sgt. John Frisk, standardization and evaluation flight chief with the 8th Airlift Squadron, 62nd Operations Group.
“This is my first time participating in this event and I’m just looking at all the possibilities,” he said.
Frisk holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and will retire in January 2022.
Participants came from all walks of life: those starting or nearing the end of their careers, some looking to change companies, and military spouses want new opportunities.
“I’m looking for something virtual that will fit my husband’s schedule,” said Lucy Karanja, wife of the US military.
Karanja’s husband is deploying next year and she said she wanted to find a career that gave her flexibility.
This is the eighth year that JBLM has hosted the event and the 122nd military base event since 2014 for HOH. JBLM has a 38% placement rate for those who attend, while HOH has an overall placement rate of 40%.
To learn more about HOH, visit their website.
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