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Veterans Job Fair At Soldier Field Provides 'Low Stress' Recruiting For A Return To Civilian Life

CHICAGO (CBS) -- CBS 2 is Working for Chicago and finding the right job can be challenging for anyone.

For for veterans, that task can be even more daunting. CBS 2's Jim Williams takes a look at one group bringing jobs to former military members.

Jennifer Hadac is in a military family. Her husband is active duty and she joined the Navy right out of high school.

"I was an aviation warfare systems operator," Hadac said. "So, in fancy terms, that means I dropped sonobuoys and watched blips on radar."

Five years she was in the Navy and when she retired she had questions. What next?

"So, it was really hard for me to understand, what are the appropriate steps? What are the appropriate steps for getting a professional career?  Where do I go? Who do I talk to," Hadac wondered. "It was real struggle."

Eventually, she found her post-military career as a recruiter... and today works for the organization Recruit Military which on Thursday at Soldier Field holds a job fair for veterans and their spouses and dependents. Fifty companies have signed up.

About 200,000 men and women leave the military each year. Veterans said the transition to civilian life can be difficult.

"These men and women are going thru a culture shock. They're going from living, breathing, sleeping military."

Chris Newsome, also with Recruit Military, said the organization makes the move to civilian life and a new job market smoother by offering coaching on interviewing and resume writing.

"What we try to do in Recruit Military is provide them with a very low stress environment where they can engage with the organizations," Newsome said.

And helping them understand the skills they developed in the military are valuable now. Something Jennifer Hadac saw herself.

"I fell back on my collateral duties. I was strong on the administrative side, had great communications skills, had great leadership skills," Hadac said. "And this is something you see across the veteran community in general."

The job fair is co-sponsored by the group Disabled American Veterans. The event runs from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Thursday at Soldier Field.

It's recommended you sign up ahead of time on the Recruit Veterans web site.

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