LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Sept. 13, 2012) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Chamber Foundation hosted "Hiring Our Heroes - North Little Rock," a hiring fair for veterans and military spouses Thursday.
From the front lines to the unemployment line, veterans like Andy Perkins came to Verizon Arena Thursday looking for a job.
"I would really like to find a job in public service because that's where I feel like I'm called to, helping people out," says Perkins.
He has served the Arkansas National Guard for 7 years but has been out of work as a civilian since March.
"I've got to try to find a way to make ends meet for my family and with today's economy it's just really rough," says Perkins.
It's a transition Austin Clardy with Nucor Steel in Batesville knows well.
"I'm a veteran myself. I served in Afghanistan. I'm a member of the Missouri National Guard. You know you come back home and you transition to the civilian world and you find yourself somewhat lost because you come from such a structured environment," says Clardy.
Now Clardy is working full-time as a general operator at Nucor Steel and looking for more employees like himself.
"Veterans are the strongest mentally and physically that you are going to find out there and they know what it takes to get the job done at the end of the day and that's exactly what Newcore is looking for," says Clardy.
More than 80 employers participated with jobs available for veterans and military spouses of all ranks and levels of experience. Companies ranged from America's biggest employers to small companies from across the state.
Since its launch in March 2011, Hiring Our Heroes has held more than 260 hiring fairs nationwide, helping more than 10,400 veterans and military spouses find employment.
Thursday's event was also part of Hiring 500,000 Heroes, a national campaign announced by the U.S. Chamber, National Chamber Foundation, and Capital One, to engage the business community in committing to hire 500,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.
Follow Lisa Hutson on Twitter @LisaHutsonTHV.