September 28, 2013

GI Go Fund Hosts Military Career Workshop for nearly 100 Veterans with Johnson & Johnson, Ernst & Young, and Citi Employees

More than 50 former members of the military currently working for Fortune 100 companies provide job mentorship and employment assistance to hundreds of unemployed military veterans; Workshop was the third of its kind this year

Courtney Billington, Vice President of Johnson & Johnson's Global Pharmaceutical Supply Chain and a West Point Graduate, addresses the nearly 100 veterans looking for employment assistance at the Military Career Workshop

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The GI Go Fund hosted a Military Career Workshop for nearly 100 veterans looking for work at the Johnson & Johnson facilities in New Brunswick. During the event, employees working at Johnson & Johnson, Ernst & Young, and Citi volunteered their Saturday to work with the unemployed veterans to help them improve their job search skills and improve their chances to landing the career of their dreams.

This event was the third of its kind this year held by the GI Go Fund. The previous workshops this year in New Brunswick and at the Ernst & Young facilities in Times Square assisted over 80 veterans with their job search efforts.

The workshop featured over 50 volunteers working at high level positions within the companies, including Courtney Billington, Vice President Global Pharmaceutical Supply Chain at Johnson & Johnson and a West Point Graduate. These corporate mentors showed veterans how they can translate their military experience into a civilian career, provided assistance with veterans looking to improve their resumes, and gave veterans the chance to share their transition stories with other veterans who have successfully transferred their military background into steady employment.

“Johnson & Johnson, Ernst & Young, and Citi have done great work today,” said GI Go Fund Executive Director Jack Fanous. “Many companies talk about helping veterans find work, but few go above and beyond the way Johnson & Johnson and the rest of the volunteer employees have here. This is corporate leadership at its best.”

Isaac Trinidad, a Navy and Air Force Veteran from Perth Amboy, NJ, was grateful for all of the information he received from his mentor Sean Cavanaugh, an Army veteran himself who landed his job at Johnson & Johnson after attending a GI Go Fund Veterans Job Fair in 2011.

Isaac Trinidad (l), a Navy and Air Force veteran, receives employment tips from Sean Cavanaugh (r), an Army vet who was hired at Johnson & Johnson after attending a GI Go Fund Job Fair in 2011.

“This has been great, very helpful,” said Trinidad. “I have my bachelor’s degree, and I feel I have the skills for any job, but it has been difficult for me transitioning back home after so much time in the military. But it was very good for me to come here and have my resume looked at by Sean, a professional who was in the same position as me once before. He taught me how to talk to employers, how to treat every job application differently. I am very glad that I came today.”

The GI Go Fund is an organization committed to linking veterans to the best employment opportunities and offer assistance to help them find a steady, solid career. Workshops like these have been a staple of the organization’s efforts to help veterans better prepare for the job hunt, working with corporate leaders like Johnson & Johnson, PSEG, and Ernst & Young to provide resume writing and job interview assistance to young vets transitioning home.

Recent unemployment reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that young post 9/11 era veterans are currently suffering from an unemployment rate of over 18%, almost three points higher than the national average. Opportunities are available for veterans to connect to solid employment opportunities with employers willing to step up, including the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, which will provide a tax credit of up to $9,600 to employers who hire veterans.

Veterans will have the chance to use these highly beneficial skills in the immediate future, as these veterans will be using these lessons at the GI Go Fund’s South Jersey Veterans Job Fair on Tuesday, October 1st at the Aloft Hotel in Mount Laurel, NJ.