Fort Jackson and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pulled out all the stops to help service members get the best chance at finding jobs once they hang up their uniforms.

The Hiring Our Heroes program, under U. S Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in collaboration with Fort Jackson Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program and the Columbia Chamber of Commerce held its 1st Transition Summit at the Fort Jackson NCO Club June19.

"Employers know who they want and guess what? You're who they want; as soon as they know that you've served in the U.S. Army that has real rich meaning and they want you on their team," said Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson, Fort Jackson commander.

The goal of the Transition Summit was to provide an opportunity for transitioning Soldiers and spouses to lean on the skills they have to map out a plan for life after active duty service.

"We have learned in the Army to seize opportunity; we have learned to attack that hill; we have learned to do our assessment and then organize to achieve a mission. Well this is your mission, now organize for the mission," Johnson said.

Hiring Our Heroes team members lead the event by providing workshops with information on career connections; Linkedin for veterans and military spouses, a panel discussion, Lunch and Learn workshop with Federal Employment information, resume reviews, and mock interviews.

Attendees were able to speak directly to industry hiring mangers during the panel discussion who were seeking the unique skill set of military veterans and spouses to fill vacant positions.

According to Marnie Holder, director of Transition Summit and virtual events for Hiring Our Heroes under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, an employer must be more than just veteran friendly to participate in the event.

"What we're looking for is companies that are mature in the process [of hiring veterans and spouses] not just, you know, veteran friendly, but veteran ready," she said. "They have a recruitment and retention program within the company. They are they're tracking and monitoring, not only the veterans they bring in, but the military spouses as well. They acknowledge what that talent pipeline is and that they know and understand where the best suitability is within their company or organization. They're learning to how to understand the translation between what military experiences and how that translates into what their company offers or where they can fit within the companies."

By seeking out the these employers Hiring Our Heroes was able to assist in placing the potential of gaining meaningful careers in front of veterans and spouses these type of transition summit events.

Carolyn Andrews, manager of Fort Jackson's Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program's Transition Service said the goal is not job placement, because finding jobs for transitioning Soldiers and spouses is not enough.

"A job is just something you do," Andrews said. "A career provides for your family using your skills and experience in the civilian sector."

The transition Summit wrapped with a hiring fair of more than 50 employers and organizations seeking to fill vacant positions worldwide.