Los Angeles job event aims to help veterans get employment

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A job event on Friday aims to provide employment opportunities to veterans as part of Mayor Eric Garcetti's 10,000 Strong Veterans Hiring Initiative.

The event was scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Goodwill's Community Enrichment Center at Fletcher Square, located at 3150 N. San Fernando Road in Glassell Park.

The hiring event is being held by Goodwill Southern California (GSC), the mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs and the County of Los Angeles Community and Senior Services.

According to a press release from GSC, the event aims to help returning service members turn their skills into fulfilling careers by making the hiring process more effective and efficient.

"It's a stressful time period. You lose a lot of your support system when you come out into this side of the world, and there was a lot of things I didn't know about. I had never submitted a resume, I never applied for a job, so here, what Goodwill does is it teaches you how to do those things," said John Gutierrez, an employment program manager at Goodwill, and also a veteran.

Participating veterans will be pre-screened to match specific employment criteria identified by partnering employers, and in some cases, may be hired on-site, the press release stated.

Participating employers include Federal Express, Cheesecake Factory, LA Metro, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Walmart, Target, Live Nation, local cities, police and fire departments, the Los Angeles Unified School District and more, officials said.

Air Force veteran Christina Yeung was one of many who attended the hiring event.

"I think the sheriff's department, also the unified school district. I really want to be able to get out there and help someone," Yeung said.

In addition to career resources, Clothes The Deal, an organization that provides business attire for veterans, also provided services at the hiring event.

"While I was in the military, I was in uniform for the most part. When I left, I probably had about two suits, they were both black, and it was just for formal dinners. A lot of the vets that we get are kind of in that place. They're so used to wearing camouflage that they don't have that interview attire," Gutierrez said.

Job seekers who would like to attend the hiring event should call (323) 543-8440 or e-mail sconliffe@goodwillsocal.org to register. Some employers require online application and resume submission prior to the event.

According to GSC, the city of Los Angeles is close to meeting its goal of hiring 10,000 Veterans by 2017.

"We're at 8,150 right now, so we're well ahead of schedule, and what we're doing is we're working with all of our nonprofit partners," said Blas Villalobos with the mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs.
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