By Spc. Cory Grogan, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs OfficeNovember 3, 2011
SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon National Guard reintegration team and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are scheduled to join area partners in Oregon's first Hiring Our Heroes Career and Benefit Fairs at Clackamas Community College and Blue Mountain Community College, Nov. 19.
The Hiring our Heroes events are scheduled to be held in conjunction with Yellow Ribbon 60-day reintegration events for more than 600 Oregon National Guard Soldiers of the 3 Battalion, 116 Cavalry Brigade based in LaGrande, Ore. The unit recently returned from a 400-day deployment to Iraq.
In March, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched its Hiring our Heroes initiative, a year-long nationwide effort to help veterans and their spouses find meaningful employment. The U.S. Chamber started the program in partnership with the DOL VETS to improve public-private sector coordination in local communities.
The Yellow Ribbon program includes 30-, 60- and 90-day post-deployment events to give National Guard soldiers information about career, health and education resources.
The Oregon National Guard Reintegration Program and Career Transition Assistance Program have been combined into a Joint Transition Assistance Program in an effort to better serve National Guard members, as well as other Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guard members from Oregon.
The program's expansion is in response to service members from Oregon who have deployed for federal service in numbers not seen since World War II. Oregon does not have an active duty military post for any branch of the armed forces.
The events, which are scheduled to be open to any service member from Oregon, are the largest of their kind in the U.S. open to all branches of the service.
Clackamas Community College held one of the largest 60-day events on June 26, 2010 after the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team returned from the biggest Oregon deployment since World War II. More than 100 employers attended the event with more than 3,000 people on site.
Sen. Ron Wyden called that event an unprecedented recognition drive to connect the state's guard members with jobs.
The events will include employers on-site ready to hire veterans, veteran-friendly educational institutions and service organizations able to assist returning veterans with health care and benefits.
The Hiring Our Heroes Job Fairs and Yellow Ribbon Career and Benefit Fairs will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For more information about the JTAP, or resources available to veterans in Oregon, call 1-888-688-2264.
Media inquiries should be directed to Spc. Cory Grogan, Oregon National Guard J9 Public Affairs: 503-584-2390.