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Message to Vets: Wall Street Wants You

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Veterans job fair poster. (Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC)

Military men and women leaving service are working their military skills into resumes and cover letters as they search for work. Several dozen attended a job fair on Wall Street Thursday, sponsored by financial firms, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Employers at the fair included firms participating in the Veterans on Wall Street Initiative, designed to hire vets and train employers to better recognize and translate skills of military veterans to the non-military world.

Click through the slideshow below to read stories from job seekers and potential employers.

Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC
General Electric was one of dozens of employers seeking to hire veterans.
Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC

Mario Martinez just graduated with a degree in Governance and Society from Fordham University. The seven-year Navy veteran said he's looking for a job in government, and has just started the job search. "Like somebody just told me earlier, I must like the structure!" he said.

Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC

Representatives from Cantor Fitzgerald said they had open positions in technology, and were expecting other openings within the next few months. John Driver, right, said there were several reasons why the firm decided to take part in the veterans hiring initiative.

"I think they have a lot of leadership potential, and what I've seen even here today were a lot of people who have a lot of confidence in who they are and what their abilities are," he explained.

Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC

Stephanie Fortunat is a U.S. Army Reservist who deployed to Iraq twice, once in 2004 and then again in 2008. She just got her MBA and came to the job fair with an elevator ready pitch:

"Put it this way: You can put me in any challenging position, I could definitely assess the situation," she explained. "And I use that both my military experience, as far as like missions and things of that nature, and of course in my corporate and my business background, as far as like, handling problem-solving techniques."

Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC
Employers like Cablevision had fact sheets ready for interested job seekers.
Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC

Participating employers advertised their commitment to hiring veterans.

Several financial institutions, including CitiGroup, Deutsche Bank and other financial institution have also founded VOWS, or Veterans on Wall Street, a group focused on hiring vets and training employers to recognize their skills and help smooth their transitions.

Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC

Latasha Johnson, from Hollis, Queens, spent two years in the U.S. Army Reserves, from 1999-2000. She said she worked as a medic, and is hoping to find a job in the health field. She's currently studying at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus.

Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC

Joseph Machulski, from Canton, New York, has served as a reservist with the Army National Guard for 13 years. He wanted to get a head start on his job search, as he plans to transition out of the military in March 2013. He said he's exploring opportunities in human services, management and project development.

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