Hiring Our Heroes career fair helping veterans in Cedar Rapids - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hiring Our Heroes career fair helping veterans in Cedar Rapids


Since leaving the army, Matthew Latham has spent the last five months searching for a job.

"I'm trying to find work which will fit my experience which -- since I don't have a college degree -- is really hard," he said. 

Latham worries employers aren't getting past his resume, denying him the chance to sit down face-to-face with somebody looking to hire.

That's why, on Tuesday, Latham saw value in attending a career fair designed for veterans in Cedar Rapids.

"They would actually listen to me, let me talk about my qualifications or why certain things happened, before they just saw my name on a resume," Latham said.

The Hiring Our Heroes Initiative has put on more than 500 fairs nationwide since its inception in 2011. 

The program has helped some 20,000 veterans find jobs.

On Tuesday, Hiring Our Heroes concocted skilled veterans with approximately 50 employees looking to hire in Cedar Rapids.

"We have found that if we put them in the same room together and let them talk face-to-face, that can help bridge the gap," said Matt Giobbi with Hiring Our Heroes.

"We feel that they have a lot of intangibles that they bring to the workforce -- just things that we're looking for in particular, the work ethic, the discipline, the commitment," said Lewis Muhlbach with Northwestern Mutual, one of the employers looking to hire at Tuesday's fair.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce program helps veterans make the transition from the battlefield into the working world.

Latham is hopeful his job search will soon end, and he can find a career that will serve him for many years to come.

"I feel like I could make a long-term career out of it, really stay with it, and be proud of my work," he said.

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