CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton held a Hiring Our Heroes jobs summit at the Pacific Views Events Center here, Sept. 17-18, to provide service members, veterans and spouses with networking opportunities and improve their competitiveness in the workforce.
Approximately 600 participants attended the event, which hosted 109 companies from a diverse field ranging from finance to the automotive industry.
Marine veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer offered the keynote address, which was followed by speeches from officials with key federal and state agencies, military leaders, business figures and local community leaders.
“As leaders, it is our job to make sure we set our Marines up for success in every aspect of their life and not just their careers in the Marine Corps,” said Meyer, a veteran Marine sergeant. “The earlier we start helping Marines and their spouses transition into civilian employment, the better it is for them. It is similar to preparing for a big mission, if you are working up for Afghanistan you get ready eight months out, not just a couple months before.”
Attendees took part in a networking reception, workshops, seminars, roundtables and panel discussions.
“We have been out to Camp Pendleton in the past and there has always been a great turnout for Marines and employers,” said Kim Morton, senior manager of Communications for Hiring our Heroes with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “This year’s event is special because besides holding workshops to potential employees, we are also holding workshops for employers to learn best practices on how to hire veterans and spouses,”
Camp Pendleton also provides apprenticeships and credentialing opportunities that allow veterans to work with civilian counterparts and translate their jobs to the civilian world to include the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program, the Marine Corps Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program and the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy.
“Big events like these, smaller events focusing on specific industries and career workshops are provided throughout the year to give Marines that competitive edge when they transition. At the end of their military careers, they also participate in a Transition Readiness Seminar, which gives them information on what they need to succeed out there,” said Derrick Cristovale, transition program supervisor here. “Marines just have to be proactive and seek out these opportunities.”