Job fair held for military veterans in Atlanta - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Job fair held for military veterans in Atlanta

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ATLANTA -

Hundreds of veterans turned out seeking employment at a job fair in Atlanta on Thursday.

The unemployment rate for veterans of the second Gulf War was 12.1 percent last year, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to change that. They held the job fair called "Hiring Our Heroes Atlanta."

When Saddam Hussein's statue was toppled by American troops in April of 2003, retired U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major Dennis Oggs was there.

"I wouldn't exactly call myself a hero, but we did our job," said Oggs.

Oggs talked with a representative of the Lennox Corporation on Thursday about possible work. He's spent the last two and a half years trying to convince employers that his military skills are transferable in the private sector.

"I was actually a supervisor of a battalion of 900 men that was deployed to the theatre of Iraq. As well, I'm working on a project management degree at Keller University," said Oggs.

More than 40 local business participated in the jobs fair. Organizers say they've helped more than 10,000 veterans and their spouses find work.

"I'd have to applaud any of these companies participating in these job fairs," said Ret. U.S. Air Force Col. Joe Justice

Justice has served his country in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He's been to four of these job fairs and says he's learned a lot.

"From understanding how resumes, how the social media works and those types of things to help us make a transition from our language -- the military language -- into a civilian language and, hopefully, potentially get jobs," said Justice.

Home Depot employs 35,000 U.S. veterans nationwide. Human resource manager Ben Heinz said volunteered to participate in the jobs fair because he knows exactly what these men and women are going through.

"As a veteran, being able to help other veterans coming back, it's a source of pride.  I absolutely love the fact that my company gives me a chance to do it," said Heinz.

"Hiring Our Heroes Atlanta" is part of "Hiring 500,000 Heroes," a national campaign by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to get businesses to commit to hire a 500,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.

For information on upcoming "Hiring Our Heroes" job fairs, visit: http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes

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