2nd Annual D.C. Appreciation Expo brings employers and veterans face-to-face.

Kaylah Jackson
November 15, 2018 - 5:28 pm

Photo courtesy of Kaylah Jackson


The Washington, D.C. area is rich with local and national organizations that are eager to hire veterans.  With Defense contractors and the federal goverment, there are a lot of jobs for veterans.  And so the second annual D.C. Veterans Appreciation Employment Expo at D.C.  National Guard Armory, Thursday, was on a mission to connect them with qualified veteran employees. 

“Veterans are especially valuable. They’re specially recruited, specially trained, and they are the most valuable weapon in our arsenal,” said Commanding General, Land Component Command District of Columbia Army National Guard, Brigadier General Robert K. Ryan, during the events opening ceremonies.

Thanks to the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES), Employ Prince George’s (EPG), and D.C. National Guard, over 30 organizations connected with veterans offering information not only about potential employment but also education and housing resources. To further prepare veterans for on the spot job interviews and offers, free computers were provided for them to access and print their resumes.

Photo courtesy of Kaylah Jackson

While national brands like Comcast, Verizon, and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority shared job openings and took resumes, other nonprofit organizations shared information about their transition resources.

"For events like these it’s great to let veterans know about our programs," said Erica Smith, a program support specialist for the Melwood Veterans Ready to Work. "As as recently as July of this year, they (Melwood) opened up a veteran services program...We help service members get acclimated into the working world. We help disabled veterans and veterans that have been discharged from the military for medical reasons. Just because they've been disabled from the military, doesn't mean they're disabled as a whole."

Melwood offers a variety of resources to empower veterans through mental health and employment support. Recently, their free “Peace with the Past, through Power in the Present” retreat for single veterans and military couples created an opportunity to engage and better learn to deal with trauma. Allowing veterans to connect with company representatives like Smith, left many veterans able to take away information to better help them as they transitioned.

"Most veterans were pleased with the format, they were pleased with the employers and the resources," Christopher Rollins, Veterans Program Coordinator for DOES. "The hope was to get the veterans and the organizations to connect and dialogue and contact so those veterans who are prepared, we wanted the employers to interact and consider them."

Whether it was a business card connection or resume review, the job fair brought together the Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia areas to better serve their veteran communities.

To comment or share your story, email us at gethelp@connectingvets.com.