The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) hosted its eighth annual statewide Hiring Red, White, and You! (HRWY) job fair on November 7, 2019. In cooperation with the 28 Local Workforce Development Boards, the Texas Veterans Commission, the Texas Medical Center and Governor Greg Abbott, the Hiring Red, White and You (HRWY) job fair connected Texas Veterans and their spouses with Texas employers that value the experience, discipline, and values inherent in those with a military background.
Held in 30 cities across Texas, the HRWY job fair hosted thousands of Veterans with the opportunity to land a new job.
In 2018, more than 12,300 job seekers and over 2,100 employers attended the statewide job fairs. Since 2011, HRWY has connected more than 84,153 job seekers. That includes 35,485 Veterans and 48,668 spouses, along with 14,420 employers and over 2,027 same-day hires.
Largest event so far
The TWC made this the largest event so far. Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) assisted, as did the Military Officers Association of American (MOAA), and other county and state representatives.
Ms. Serafina De Los Santos, Executive Director for the 502nd Force Support Group, JBSA stated, “Another great event in Military City, USA. [It’s] proof that working together for the benefit of all is powerful, indeed.”
The keynote speaker for this event, Col. Samuel E. Fiol, Commander, 502nd Force Support Group and Executive Agent (Garrison Commander) for Fort Sam Houston & Camp Bullis, Joint Base San Antonio, gave remarks to the hundreds of vendors, employers, transitioning service personnel, Veterans and spouses.
“We are here with you, for you and will support you all the way,” he said.
It’s all about partnerships
“We invite anyone who can provide a solution or resource for our transitioning service members, Veterans, and their spouses,” Col. Fiol said. “We want to advertise this to the community. We want to highlight San Antonio as a destination for retiring and transitioning service members. JBSA strives to be the premier installation in the DoD, and part of this is our commitment to supporting our transitioning service members.”
Outside of the 100+ employers available to assist Veterans and military spouses with employment, numerous vendors were open for Veteran services.
Roberta Castaneda, Health & Wellness Coach for South Texas VA Healthcare System, also attended the event. “We had a great deal of interest in the Whole Health Initiative, and we’re linking them with a health coach,” she said. “Veterans and transitioning service members were excited to learn of VA’s ‘Whole Health’ philosophy and were eager to sign on.”
A few of the Veterans told Frances Perry, Manager for Mission United that they were impressed with the event. Others found it overwhelming, but also said that talking with Veterans who’ve recently walked in their shoes put them at ease.
For more on this event and employment assistance for Texas Veterans, visit The Texas Workforce Commission online.
About the Author: Eric Montgomery served 30 years in the United States Army. He has been a VA employee for the past 9 years and currently works for the Veterans Experience Office.