FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (April 30, 2015) -- The Fort Leonard Wood Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program, in partnership with the Army Community Service Employment Readiness Office and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will host a Missouri Service Member for Life Transition Summit Tuesday and Wednesday.

During the Summit, transitioning service members and spouses will have the opportunity to meet with local and national business owners to showcase their educational backgrounds, experiences, qualifications and skill sets.

Fort Leonard Wood Operations Order 15-038 designates Wednesday as a "Stand Down" day for all service members who expect to leave the military within the next 24 months.

"All service members with estimated time of separation or retirement dates between now and May 30, 2017, as well as those enrolled in SFL-TAP, are required to attend the activities on Wednesday," said Michael Martin, Directorate of Human Resources, Military Personnel Division chief.

"Transition Summits are taking place across the Army through a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes," Martin said. Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities, according to Martin.

Numerous local and national employers are expected to be present at the event. Local employers scheduled to participate include Phelps County Regional Medical Center, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Mid-Missouri Credit Union, Lowes, Wal-Mart, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, Non-Appropriated Funds Personnel Office, Columbia College and Advancia Corporation.

The Summit will kick off at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Pershing Community Center with leadership professional development for command teams, focused on the Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program.

In the afternoon, senior officials will join command teams and business leaders to form the nucleus for panel discussions entitled "Perspectives on Transition from the National Level" and "Conversations with Employers on Best Practices."

A social networking event is slated to begin at 4 p.m. for military leaders, employers, service members and spouses who expect to transition out of the military within the next 12 months.

"The social will be an ideal time for transitioning service members to make connections, expand their networks and receive career advice from senior leaders and business executives," Martin said.

The second day of the summit will begin at 10 a.m. in Abrams Theater with a panel discussion on "Perspectives on Transition from the National Level." The panel will focus on transitioning service members, their spouses and veterans. A panel titled "Conversations with Employers on Best Practices" will follow.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hiring Our Heroes, will moderate all panels.

Six employment workshops are scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind Nutter Field House. "The summit will culminate with a hiring fair from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday in Nutter Field House, where national, state and local employers will conduct interviews and, in some cases, make job offers," Martin said.

Summit presenters will concentrate on developing strong recruitment strategies, dispelling myths about veteran hiring and encouraging participants to share their own company or community's best practices, according to Martin.

Employers participating in the hiring fair are required to have viable and current vacancies for which military spouses and transitioning service members can apply, Martin said.

"Our spouses and transitioning military are important parts of our Army Family, and we want to provide them with the advice, resources and connections they need to depart the military 'career ready,'" he added.

Command teams, service members and spouses attending the Transition Summit should register online at www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/fort-leonard-wood-transition-summit.

A full list of participating employers will be available to those who register online.

For further information about the Transition Summit, contact Kent Burns at 573.596.0131, ext. 60135. For information about spouse hiring and ACS Employment Readiness classes, contact Karen Hall or Dan Danzo at the 573.596.0131, ext. 60212.