More than 100 veterans, reservists, and newly returned servicemembers from across the five boroughs attended a job fair for veterans sponsored by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), chairman of the Council’s Veterans Committee, to speak with 50 companies, small businesses, labor unions and other employers interested in hiring a hero.
Large companies like Lockheed Martin to local employers like Resorts World Casino New York City were on hand to help veterans look for work during the event this past Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach.
Current members of the National Guard and Reserve living throughout the five boroughs were also invited to look for work at the event.
According to estimates from the NYC Department of Small Business Services, more than 11 percent of New York City’s veterans are unemployed — almost double the national average.
Furthermore, this rate is even higher for post-9/11 veterans who returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan after service to a lagging economy with limited employment prospects.
“Veterans make outstanding employees,” Ulrich said in a statement. “They’re hardworking, reliable and able to carry out difficult tasks, precisely the kind of employees companies should want to hire. I am grateful to Russo’s On The Bay and all the companies, unions and government agencies that participated in this event. This job fair connected veterans with military-friendly employers who have made public commitments to hire veterans and we need to do more of them.”
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan, Bronx) were among those who turned out at the event to support it.
“With thousands of New York City veterans already home and with more on the way we need to make sure that the City takes care of them,” Mark-Viverito said in a statement.