JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. A one-of-a-kind hiring fair aimed at helping veterans, active-duty service members, military spouses and guard and reserve members is coming to the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Club Nov. 2. The Hiring Our Heroes National Capital Region (NCR) Military Family Appreciation Expo will feature numerous organizations from around the region, in addition to several career-building workshops and entertainment from the U.S. Military Wives Choir and U.S. Navy Band Sea Charters.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is spearheading the event. It’s co-sponsored locally by Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling’s (JBAB) Military Family Support Center, the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR), the U. S. Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS), U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Legion and U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.
To date, 70 employers and more than 200 job seekers have pre-registered for the event, said Patricia Botkins, a coordinator with JBAB’s Military Family Support Center. Some of the names that will be on hand include Software Performance Group, Inc., The Washington Post, Transamerica Agency Network, U.S. Department of Energy and the Virginia Employment Commission. General Electric will host an employment workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Botkins got interested in the Hiring Our Heroes campaign after reading a story about first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s initiative to help honor military families. After learning more about the Chamber of Commerce event, she said it’s a perfect way to help kick off November, which happens to be National Military Family Appreciation Month.
“It’s not just a hiring event, but an opportunity to reach out to military families and make them aware of the many organizations that are here to help them,” Botkins said. “I’ve received a lot of help with coordinating this event from a great team of spouses here on JBAB. We’re all excited to see this come to fruition.”
One unique aspect of the fair is that several employers will also be conducting on-the-spot interviews for positions, Botkins said. This is the first-ever Hiring Our Heroes Fair on JBAB, but certainly not the first for the campaign.
According to Lt. Col. Kathryn Poynton, a liaison for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 100 job fairs nationwide since its inception in March 2011. She said planning on JBAB began two months ago with an initial goal of fielding 60 employers. Poynton said it didn’t take long to surpass that mark.
“Employers see this as something that’s very necessary in the current job market,” Poynton said. “They want to find individuals that have the skills and technical background to do the job, but also a sense of duty and leadership. That’s what employers look for. And there’s no shortage of military talent.”
Poynton said job fairs have been held in major cities like Washington, D.C. and New York City, as well as medium market cities and towns throughout the continental U.S.
The hiring fair at JBAB will be held at the Bolling Club Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register for any of the workshops, visit uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/events and scroll down to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. For registration questions, please email hiringour heroesuschamber.com or call 202-463-5807. For additional information on the event, contact Patricia Botkins, JBAB Warfighter and Family Services, at 202-767-0450 or email patricia. botkinsnavy.mil.