President Obama took on the issue of hiring veterans during last night's State of the Union speech.
“So to every CEO in America, let me repeat: If you want to hire somebody who's going to get the job done and done right, hire a veteran,” said the President.
Despite the improving economy, the unemployment rate for post 9-11 veterans remains higher than the non-military population. But several local and national companies have committed to change that.
Jeremy Stewart, or Stewie as he's called, has been working at Home Depot for almost five years. He started shortly after leaving the Army. As a member of the infantry he did three tours in Iraq as well as tours in Kosovo and Bosnia, but was a little concerned when it came time to transition to civilian life.
“I worried a little bit because I was infantry so what does that relate to,” said Stewart.
Home Depot currently employees 35,000 veterans and is one of a growing number of companies nationwide that has committed to actively recruiting vets.
“It's really the least we can do for them is give them a place to transition back to when they come back to the civilian life,” said Lana Warriner, a district HR manager with Home Depot.
But Home Depot benefits as well taking by advantage of that military training.
“We are pretty disciplined for the most part and we've gone through a lot of training to be workhorses for the company,” said Stewart.
Home Depot is one of 41 companies that will be at a job fair Thursday at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. Organizers say typically the companies will hire more than100 vets.
“They take the specialties that you've learned and these companies want to hire you,” said Doug Turner, RecruitMilitary Expo Director and US Marine Corps Veteran.
Stewie has worked his way up to a supervisor for one of Home Depot's biggest departments. He's also going to school full time to get his business degree hoping to continue to build on that military training and civilian job experience.
Here are more details for the job fair:
Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Lloyd Noble Center
2900 S. Jenkins Ave.
Norman, Okla. 73019