GOOSE CREEK, SC - More than 350 veterans came out to the “Hiring Our Heroes” event at the Naval Weapons Station in Goose Creek Wednesday.
The national program helps veterans find jobs, and 45 employers took part in the event.
Dave Toohey is a 20-year Air Force veteran and said events like this one are much easier than searching online.
"Sometimes it's kind of difficult when you come to the end of one career to kind of see what's going to happen in the future, so it's nice to have something like this where you know they're looking for you,” Toohey said. “They're looking for your specific skill sets. They're looking for your military experience."
Organizers say veterans have trouble applying to jobs because it's tough to explain how their skills can work for employers.
"Some of the things that military job seekers may have problems with is explaining what it is they've done in their military career and how it best translates to what an employer is looking for,” Ernie Lombardi, a Southeast regional associate US Chamber of Commerce said. “So if they don't really know how to quite explain it on paper, it's a great time to talk to them one on one on what it is they do."
Toohey said he can relate to that problem.
"If somebody doesn't know aircraft systems, it's kind of tough to explain to them what exactly my job entails,” Toohey said.
Toohey said it’s a tough process, but he believes he’ll find a job soon.
"You get those first couple of rejection letters and it's kind of crushing at first but you just have to keep your head up and keep trudging forward,” Toohey said. “Job is out there. I've just got to find it."
Veterans have struggled to find jobs recently. The unemployment rate for veterans who have served since 2001 is at 9 percent, almost 3 percent higher than the national average.