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Mayor Stanton Launches Phoenix H.E.R.O. Initiative to Hire Unemployed Veterans

Nov. 9, 2012

Greg Stanton for News Releases

Caption:Mayor Greg Stanton

Mayor Greg Stanton launched the Phoenix H.E.R.O. Initiative Friday to help unemployed veterans find work, educate city government and companies on hiring unemployed veterans and open targeted job events to recruit veterans.

The initiative is based on four principles: Hire, Educate, Recruit and Organize. It targets specific needs of veterans and companies to find a common ground to do one thing: find jobs for veterans.

“This is not simply a job fair or one-time event,” Stanton said. “This is something the city is going to do until we find jobs for our unemployed vets. It’s the least we can do for their service to our country and risking their lives to keep us safe.”

As part of the initiative the city, in partnership with community veterans’ organizations will:

Hold workshops with veterans on:

  • Resume writing and translating military skills into civilian term
    Career counseling
  • Helping veterans understand what employers, including the city, are looking for and how to tailor their resumes accordingly
  • Educate city supervisory staff on the advantages of hiring veterans through a three-day training for newly promoted supervisors
  • Begin offering specialized counseling for returning veterans who have difficulty acclimating back into the work environment
  • Give veterans priority at the city’s One-Stop Centers. These centers offer a multitude of career services (resume prep, career development, etc.). Any veteran wanting these services can go to the front of the line.

Targeted job events:

  • A series of small, customized employment events
  • Veterans and employers will be pre-matched in advance of the events based on the skills they have and the needs of the employers
  • All employers will be actively hiring veterans
  • Forums will consist of mini-interviews where veterans will move from table-to-table
  • Pre-sessions with veterans to work with them on interview skills
  • Pre-sessions with employers to clarify any misconceptions about hiring veterans and to educate on the benefits
  • Hold a forum to educate participating employers on common misconceptions about hiring veterans

“As an unemployed veteran who has struggled to find work for over a year, I feel this type of targeted job approach is exactly what veterans need,” said Virgel Cain, a U.S. Navy veteran who is unemployed and serves on the Mayor’s Military Veterans Commission. “I have attended countless job fairs over the past year and, although they are well intended, I have often left feeling frustrated and like just a face in a crowd.  I applaud Mayor Stanton for focusing on veterans and for taking a more personal approach to helping those of us who are unemployed find meaningful work.”

Service Member and Veteran Employment Workshops:

  • Dec. 4, 9 a.m.-noon at the Arizona National Guard, Papago Park Military Reservation, 5636 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix (Conducted in partnership with the Arizona Coalition for Military Families' Military/Veteran Employment Resource Center)
  • Dec. 6, 4-7 p.m., Phoenix College Downtown Campus, 640 N. 1st Ave., Phoenix
  • Dec. 8, 9 a.m.-noon, Grand Canyon University, 3300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix

Partners for the Phoenix H.E.R.O Initiative

  • City of Phoenix Workforce Connections Program
  • Arizona Department of Economic Security
  • Arizona Coalition for Military Families
  • Phoenix Military Veterans Commission
  • Madison Street Veterans Association
  • Employee Partnership of the Armed Forces
  • Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
  • Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
  • Hero 2 Hired
  • Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce


Media Contact:

Sarah Muench 602-262-7111