Career Summits at Overseas Military Bases Are Critical to Connecting Military Talent with Employment Opportunities

Hiring Our Heroes slide show from Career Summit in Japan
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Hiring Our Heroes

The search for military talent doesn’t start in California and end in Maryland. Sometimes the search takes Hiring Our Heroes partners to Japan or Italy.

Every year, hundreds of overseas service members transition out of the military at the same time their household goods are shipped from Germany or Guam. During their three-year OCONUS tour, they learned to drive on the opposite side of the road and they memorized the words to every AFN commercial, but they may not have had the opportunity to make connections with future employers in the United States.

Simply, their transition experience was complicated by their overseas assignment. Challenges like a 12-hour time difference and an FPO address are burdens transitioning service members face when attempting to connect with employers located on a different continent.

“We believe our overseas military community faces unique challenges in their search to find a meaningful career. The opportunity to connect with top American employers is not readily available to them, as it is to our stateside military community,” said Crystal Kearns, Director of Events and Engagement at Hiring Our Heroes.

Since 2014, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted Career Summits at overseas military installations. In 2019, nearly 3,000 job seekers attended one of five OCONUS Career Summits in Japan, Italy, Germany, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii.

Hiring Our Heroes Career Summit on Okinawa

Showing Our Commitment to Veterans and Military Spouses Living Overseas

Each two-day Career Summit features interactive and informative panel discussions and facilitated discussions focused on improving competitive employment for service members and military spouses.

“Our events are designed to help transitioning service members and military spouses connect with employers who understand the skill sets they bring to the workforce. The knowledge they gain and the connections they make at our events are a critical piece to building their networks and empowering them with the tools and resources they need to succeed in today’s workforce,” Kearns said.

For employers, it’s a unique opportunity “to support our military community who don’t otherwise get access to these employers,” said Ian McDuffie, Senior Program Manager at Amazon Global Military Affairs.

“It’s a great opportunity to educate and interact with transitioning service members and provide them knowledge of all our employment opportunities at Amazon and connect them to our recruiters and onward career opportunities such as fellowships, internships, apprenticeships, and direct hiring,” McDuffie said.

During the Japan Career Summit, FASTPORT President Brad Bentley met transitioning service members with maintenance, logistics and cybersecurity experience.

“These skill sets translate perfectly to protecting our supply chain, and making it more efficient,” he said.

If your company is interested in participating in a Career Summit either overseas or stateside, connect with Hiring Our Heroes for more information about how you can recruit, hire, and retain veterans, transitioning service members, military spouses, and military caregivers.

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