Job Fairs Continue Governor’s Initiative of Matching Veterans with Employers and Jobs
New online tool to help vets navigate benefits launched

SACRAMENTO, CA – Governor Brown continued the Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet (HAH-HAV) initiative with a job and resource fair in San Diego and Los Angeles today that brought together veterans seeking jobs, employers with openings to fill, and resource agencies offering a wide range of employment services.

More than 60 employers with jobs were on hand to talk to the 500-plus veterans who showed up at the Valley View Casino in San Diego and more than 90 employers with jobs were on hand to talk to the more than 500 veterans who showed up at the Proud Bird Convention Center in Los Angeles.

Peter J. Gravett, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), said of the events: “One of the best ways to honor our veterans for their selfless service and sacrifice is to help them find meaningful careers in civilian life.”

“The Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet job fairs are springboards for our brave veterans who are coming home from serving overseas and seeking new lives as productive, employed members of society,” said Pam Harris, Director of the California Employment Development Department (EDD). “These exceptional men and women put their lives on the line for our freedoms. We owe it to them to help them transition from military life to civilian life. We are committed to matching these talented veterans with jobs that will open the way to a bright future.”

Now in its fifth year, the 2012 HAH-HAV fairs were held at 10 locations throughout the state. The fairs offer veterans one-stop access to career, training and education opportunities. Current data shows young veterans are particularly in need of assistance.

The 2011 California unemployment rate for veterans in the 20-24 year-old age group was 37.1 percent, which is more than double the 17.6 percent unemployment rate in the same age group who were not veterans.

The veterans’ fairs also saw the public launch of a new website for veterans called “Vets 101,” ( an interactive site of tools to help veterans understand and utilize the variety of benefits and supports available to them. The Employment tab provides veterans quick access to many job-related programs and benefits, along with tools they need for decision-making and achieving financial and professional success after their military service.

The new online tool will be used by veterans and their families, veteran service providers, EDD’s veterans’ services representatives and other One-Stop partners, and will be made available at future HAH-HAV job fairs. Vets 101 is operated by the World Institute on Disability and is supported and sponsored by the Governor’s Interagency Council on Veterans, including the CalVet, EDD, California Department of Rehabilitation, and the California Health Incentives, Improvement Project.

In its first four years, the Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet job fairs have linked 15,000 veterans with hundreds of employers and employment resource agencies. The fairs, funded this year by a $250,000 grant, provide public agencies and private companies not only the opportunity to demonstrate their support of the veterans’ community, but also to address their business needs by having access to a large pool of job-ready candidates.

The multi-agency initiative brings together CalVet, EDD, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Apprenticeship Standards, and California Community Colleges. An energetic outreach through television, radio, newspapers and social media has helped to double and even triple the participation in these fairs by employers, schools, apprenticeship programs and other providers.

California is home to nearly two million veterans, the largest number in the nation. The EDD Workforce Services Offices play a key role in providing veterans with on-going job search services and case management. Veterans bring with them unique work skills and character traits valued by employers. Ninety-five percent of California veterans have high school diplomas and almost half have associate degrees or higher. Many of them have mastered high-tech skills in the military.