Alpharetta nonprofit helping veterans, spouses find employment

Nearing the end of a career in any one of the U.S. military branches, future veterans may find the prospect of civilian employment an overwhelming task. Since 2005, Hire Heroes USA has been helping veterans and their spouses make the transition from their military careers to rewarding employment back home.

The Alpharetta-based nonprofit provides service members, veterans and their spouses with personalized one-on-one coaching, professionally revised resumes, mentoring, workshops, a job board, virtual career fairs and employment webinars – all at no cost to the job seeker.

Dedicated veteran transition specialists work with individuals throughout their job search and follow up with them post-employment to be sure they’ve found the right position. Hire Heroes USA Vice Chairman Brian Stann said, “We know the real key to our success is personal engagement with our veterans assigned to one person.”

According to Elena Comperatore, Hire Heroes Georgia program manager, “I love getting to know someone’s story and making sure they have all the resources they need.” Those resources might include improving interview skills, setting up a LinkedIn profile or customizing a resume to a specific industry.

The program is working. Hire Heroes USA has helped more than 65,000 veterans and their spouses since its inception. This year alone 400 Georgia veterans and military spouses have been hired into new jobs, with an average salary of $61,700 - well above the national average. Since 2019 and despite the pandemic, more than 3,000 Hire Heroes USA clients from Georgia have found new civilian jobs.

Frank Nick struggled to find employment when he first left his Army career. After 14 years unhappily working in corrections, a friend told him about the program. “Hire Heroes is one of the best things I’ve ever come across,” said Nick, “I truly wish I’d found them when I first left the military.” Nick found a new career in 2019 with Allied Security at Lockheed Martin.

As a military spouse, Shonkeisha Byrd has also benefited. Her husband retired after 21 years in the Army and is now employed with Hire Heroes USA. Byrd, a nurse, needed help updating her resume and benefitted from the one-on-one coaching to help sell herself during interviews.

“Sometimes spouses are not thought about,” said Byrd. She found the program’s efforts extremely valuable. “From my experience, they are very adamant about keeping up with you. They reach out and make sure it’s going well.”

The program is funded primarily through donations and grants. Details for job seekers and employers: www.hireheroesusa.org.