Hiring Our Heroes: Career Fair Town Hall

ABC7 Chicago is joining with Hiring Our Heroes and Disney Veterans Institute for a virtual career fair town hall Thursday at 3 p.m.

Our experts will answer questions live about how to help veterans transition into a civilian career. You can watch the town hall on this page, or by using our ABC7Chicago app on Roku, FireTV, Apple TV and Android TV.

Click here to register for a Hiring our Heroes virtual hospitality and tourism career fair on Sept. 15 where military community job seekers from around the globe will meet, network, and interview with hospitality and tourism industry employers in an interactive virtual hiring event.

Chicago area resources for veterans, families of service members



LEAVE NO VETERAN BEHIND

Leave No Veteran Behind (LNVB) is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that invests in Veterans to build better communities through employment training, transitional jobs, and our veteran educational debt relief scholarship. Leave No Veteran Behind invests in heroes who have served their country honorably and who seek to continue their service as assets in communities across America. All Leave No Veteran Behind programming is predicated on the belief that Veterans are not a charity, but a strategic social investment.

In order to address the issue of Veteran unemployment and underemployment, Leave No Veteran Behind decided to leverage the one thing that has made our nation great; entrepreneurism. It was decided that our agency would take on fee for service contracts that directly provide our Veteran clientstransitional jobs. By taking on these contracts, Leave No Veteran Behind leverages the military and civilian business experience of our administrative team to create a bridge for Veterans with barriers to employment that are generally misunderstood by the civilian job market. Not only does this methodology provide Veterans needed experience, on the job trainingwithreferral services for their specific needs, it also provides income so that they can move themselves and their families into sustainable financial conditions.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Service member benefits Find out what benefits you may be eligible for during service and which time-sensitive benefits to consider when separating or retiring.

Family member benefits Learn about the benefits you may qualify for as a spouse, dependent, or survivor. And find out what you're eligible for as a family member caring for a Veteran with disabilities.

Burials and memorials Get help planning a burial in a VA national cemetery, order a headstone or other memorial item to honor a Veteran's service, and apply for survivor and dependent benefits.

Careers and employment Apply for vocational rehabilitation services, get support for your Veteran-owned small business, and access other career resources.

Housing assistance Find out if you're eligible for a VA-backed home loan. If you have a service-connected disability, see if you qualify for a housing grant to help you live more independently.

Pension Apply for monthly payments for wartime Veterans and survivors with limited or no income who meet certain age and disability requirements.

Veterans Service Organizations

The following Veterans Service Organizations are located at the Chicago Regional Office:
-American Legion
-AMVETS
-Disabled American Veterans
-Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs
-Paralyzed Veterans of America
-Veterans of Foreign Wars
-Vietnam Veterans of America

WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT

Every warrior has a next mission. We know that the transition to civilian life is a journey. And for every warrior, family member, and caregiver, that journey looks different.

We are here for their first step, and each step that follows. Because we believe that every warrior should have a positive future to look forward to. There's always another goal to achieve, another mission to discover. We are their partner in that mission.

Warrior Registration

Wounded Warrior Project(WWP) is committed to helping every warrior achieve their highest ambition. Wherever you are in your journey, our programs and resources are here to help you take the next steps that are right for you.

If you suffered a physical or mental injury, wound, or illness during your military service on or after September 11, 2001, you can register to access our programs in areas like:
-Mental Health
-Financial Wellness
-Physical Health
-Peer and Community Connection

WWP programs and services are always available at no cost to all registered warriors.

Family Support Member Registration

Warriors aren't the only ones who face challenges transitioning back to civilian life. Wounded Warrior Project understands the importance of a strong support system and we're here to serve those who support the transition and recovery of their wounded, ill, or injured family member.

Our programs and services are built to reduce the burden of visible and invisible wounds on the lives of the warriors we serve, as well as the families who support them.

HOW CAN I FIND HELP?
Our programs are here to support you at every step. Take a look at our veteran support programs in the WWP Program Directory, and get the right support for where you're at right now.

Don't see what you're looking for? Please contact the Resource Center and we'll connect you with what you need.

RESOURCE CENTER 888.997.2586
HOURS OF OPERATION Monday - Friday 9 am - 9 pm ET
resourcecenter@woundedwarriorproject.org

AMERICAN LEGION

The American Legion's mission statement, as adopted by the National Executive Committee in October 2020, is: To enhance the well-being of America's veterans, their families, our military, and our communities by our devotion to mutual helpfulness. The American Legion's vision statement is "The American Legion: Veterans Strengthening America."

Services:
-Benefits Center
-Career Center
-Education Center
-Health Center
-Troop and Family Support
-USAA Financial Center
-Women Veterans

Resources
-Find a Post
-Find a Service Officer
-Find a Reunion
-Find Memorials / Monuments

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS
Member Benefits - The VFW appreciates your service, and so do patriotic businesses across the country. That's why we've teamed up to offer you - as a VFW member - and your family discounted pricing on valuable merchandise and services. It's just one more way we're able to say"thank you" for all you've done to protect our freedom!
Insurance Programs - VFW members have access to exclusive insurance and life planning products.
Financial Services - Make sure you're making the most of your money with these services.
Publication Subscriptions - Stay up-to-date on the important issues facing today's service members and veterans, while having our nation's battle history available at your fingertips.
Technology and Electronics - Stay up to date on the latest technology by using these great discounts.
Travel Services - We help make traveling more convenient with discounts on your travel package, hotel and car rental.
VFW PerkSpot Discount Program - With access to exclusive discounts on everything from home goods and the latest gadgets, to entertainment, travel and big-ticket buys, being a VFW member means you get to save time AND money!
Retail Discounts - Retail establishments offer special discounts for VFW members.
Haircuts
Medical Services - VFW members save on items like prescriptions, vision, hearing aids and other health products.
Transitioning to Civilian Life - Let us help you on your journey to a new future.
End of Life Services - Our end of life services help you give your family peace of mind.
Post Resources - As pillars of the community, the VFW strives to provide Posts with the tools they need to be successful.

CHICAGO VETERANS

Our Mission is to Empower military Veterans to take control of their transition throughout life.

We define empower as sharing information and helping Veterans build a positive social support system to take control of their transition throughout life. Empowerment is based on the idea that providing Veterans access to information and resources, social engagement opportunities, and peer-to-peer support will help them become more productive and socially connected to their communities which will improve their mental and emotional well-being, reduce PTSD symptoms and lead to a successful transition. We focus on three core components to help empower veterans to have a successful transition throughout life - Social Connectedness, Employment Readiness, and Educational Peer Mentorship.

Our Social & Community Involvement Program:
Our Social and Community Involvement Program (SCIP) builds on our belief that engagement is directly related to empowerment. SCIP provides recreational therapy that helps Veterans improve their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. SCIP provides opportunities for Veterans to engage and interact in their local communities, which helps them create a positive social support system for challenging times.

Our Employment Readiness Program:
Our Employment Readiness Program (ERP) focuses on creating pipelines to careers for Veterans through direct access to local employers helping mitigate hiring barriers that Veterans face. Many service members leaving the military and relocating to Chicago are not prepared for the transition and as a result, struggle to find employment.

Our Educational Peer Mentorship Program:

Our Educational Peer Mentorship Program (EPMP) assists Veterans in two ways: (1) individual peer-to-peer mentorship and (2) group mentorship. Our peer-to-peer program connects a Veteran who has lived through a specific experience with a Veteran who is new to that experience; this allows for targeted guidance and assistance obtaining resources and benefits available in the specific situation. Group mentorship is provided through workshops and other group events.

CHICAGO OFFICE OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Housing:
The City of Chicago is committed to ensuring all Veterans have a place to call home and that any episodes of homelessness are rare, brief and non-recurring. The Ending Veterans Homelessness Initiative (EVHI) brings together agencies and organizations who are working to ensure that every service member, veteran, and their families have access to stable housing, with a long term goal of eradicate homelessness among veterans in Chicago.

Volunteers Of America Illinois

Heartland Alliance

A Safe Haven

CEDA

Inner Voice

Thresholds

Featherfist

Inspiration Corp

Partners In Community Building

Bogan Quarters

National Women Veterans United

Renaissance Social Services

Catholic Charities

Entrepreneurship:

The City of Chicago is dedicated to ensuring through collaborative efforts that veterans have resources to help them start and grow small businesses. From creating a business plan to starting your first business, we want to see you succeed.

Women Business Development Center (VBOC)

Bunker Labs

Chicago Urban League

Bethel New Life (SBDC)

Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP)

Employment:

The Mayor's Office is committed to connecting veterans to employers, and employers to veterans. We are working with private and public partners to build networks for employment, across all sectors of our city.

Veterans Forward-National Able Networks

Easter Seals

Chicago LightHouse

Warrior Summit Coalition

Partners In Community Building

Leave No Veteran Behind

Hire Our Heroes

US Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Veteran Exchange

Employer Support for the Guard and Reserves

Soldier for Life

Marine for Life

Education:

The City of Chicago offers accessible educational institutions, state agencies, and non-profit organizations working to improve access for service members, veterans and their families.

Illinois Patriot Education Fund

The Pat Tillman Foundation

City Colleges of Chicago

Veterans Affairs-State of Illinois

Legal Assistance:

Chicago has a number of organizations dedicated to our veterans seeking Civil/Criminal Justice services throughout the city.

Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago

Illinois Legal Aid/Veterans Court in Illinois

Supportive Services/Mental Health:

Mayor Lightfoot is committed to having timely resources for Veterans and Families, assisting with access for health care needs for Veterans, Uniformed Service members, Retirees, and their Families.

Catholic Charities

Center on Halsted

American Veterans for Equal Rights

A Safe Haven

Lutheran Social Service Illinois

Road Home Program

Thresholds

Ada S. McKinley Community Services

Dryhootch Chicago

Metropolitan Family Services

Vet Centers

Warrior Summit Coalition

Health and Disability Advocates

Resources for veterans and service personnel transitioning to civilian life



Disney Careers/Heroes Work Here: Learning & development opportunities and other veterans resources

Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Department of Labor: Every year, approximately 200,000 men and women leave U.S. military service and return to life as civilians, a process known as the military to civilian transition. The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides information, tools, and training to ensure service members, and their spouses, are prepared for the next step in civilian life.

Veterans' Employment and Training Service: We prepare America's veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses for meaningful careers.

DAV: Military members separating from active duty should talk to a Transition Service Officer.Find your nearest Transition Service Officer at this url.

Registered Apprenticeship Program: To learn more about the benefits of developing a Registered Apprenticeship or how to formally register your program, visit our Registered Apprenticeship Program page or use our Partner Finder to contact your nearest apprenticeship consultant.

Wounded Warrior Project: Every warrior has a next mission. We know that the transition to civilian life is a journey. And for every warrior, family member, and caregiver, that journey looks different. We are here for their first step, and each step that follows. Because we believe that every warrior should have a positive future to look forward to.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation: We navigate a maze of more than 46,000 nonprofits to find, fund, and shape innovative programs in communities where our veterans, their families, and caregivers live and work. BWF leverages partnerships with leading nonprofits, corporations, the military and the government to meet the emerging and long-term needs of today's veterans and their families.

Military Community and Family Policy: Military Community and Family Policy is directly responsible for establishing quality-of-life policies and programs that help our guardians of country, their families, and survivors be well and mission ready. Military OneSource is the gateway to MC&FP programs and services that support the everyday needs of the 5.2 million service members and immediate family members of the military community.

Joining Forces: Joining Forces is a White House initiative to support military families, which includes: families of service members and veterans, caregivers and survivors. Our work is driven by their experiences.

Soldier For Life : Soldier For Life engages and connects the U.S. Army with organizations to support Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families to create opportunities. Once you earn the title Soldier, you are a Soldier for Life.

Additional resources for military spouses and families



Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP): The Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) connects military spouses with hundreds of partner employers who have committed to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses.

Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO): Ensures military spouses have 24-7 access to online education and career information, resources, tools and assessments. Using the tools and assessments, spouses can begin to explore their interests, skills, passions and personality type to determine the best fit for education and career choices. Provides information, guidance, and support with education, career, and life decisions including working with one-on-one with a professional career coach.

National Military Family Association: The National Military Family Association Volunteer Corps is made up of service members, spouses, parents, retirees, survivors, veterans and concerned citizens who want to support serving military family members. Transferring Occupational Licenses and Certifications: Information from the U.S.Department of Defense about some of the most popular occupations that require a license or certification.

Careers with High Portability: Information from the U.S. Department of Defense to help military spouses find fulfilling work, build on your skills and experience and supplement the family income in spite of frequent moves, use this information to help you make informed career choices.

USA Jobs: Guidance on hiring spouses and spouse preference.

Click here to register for a Hiring our Heroes virtual hospitality and tourism career fair on Sept. 15 where military community job seekers from around the globe will meet, network, and interview with hospitality and tourism industry employers in an interactive virtual hiring event.
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