If you go
What: Hiring Our Heroes’ Military Hiring Event
When: June 1. Registration at 9 a.m.; hiring fair 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Safeco Field, 1250 First Ave. S., Seattle
About nine hours before the first pitch at the Seattle Mariners’ game against the Tampa Bay Rays June 1, service members, veterans and spouses will be on the spacious main-level concourse, dressed in their best interview attire rather than baseball jerseys and hats.
Hiring Our Heroes, a program under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is hosting a special military hiring event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Entering its third year at the home of the Mariners, the event has a history of attracting large crowds.
Last year, 1,400 military job seekers preregistered for the Seattle event, many of whom were linked to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other local military installations.
That kind of attendance does not come as a surprise to Charles Hodges Jr., senior director of events and programs for Hiring Our Heroes. A retired Army colonel, Hodges was the JBLM Garrison commander from 2012 to 2015. JBLM has been an integral partner with Hiring Our Heroes for the event.
“I’ll do close to 50 transition summits this year and still, JBLM hands down, with their leadership, provides the most support,” Hodges said. “They’re the one installation that is still able to focus on retention and make sure that their transitioning service members are taken care of.”
The special military hiring event itself is conducted by Hiring Our Heroes in partnership with organizations like the Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs and local groups.
Job seekers are invited to directly connect with job recruiters and hiring managers from more than 100 local and national companies. Seattle-based companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks will be present.
Recruiters from companies like Capital One, CarMax, Hilton and Prudential also will be present. Hodges said only 30 percent of service members at JBLM choose to stay in the Pacific Northwest.
“We want to make sure that we’re giving opportunities not only for the ones who want to stay local, but for those who want to go elsewhere in the United States,” he said.
In addition to networking with recruiters and managers, job seekers can attend the Mariners’ game against the Tampa Bay Rays that night for free. All registered participants are eligible to receive up to two tickets to the game.
Hiring Our Heroes will have similar events with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston Wednesday and returning to Petco Park in San Diego Aug. 28.
“Baseball is about as American as it comes,” Hodges said. “We think (baseball) such a great venue that supports our events quite nicely, but it also gives (service members) a reward for their service.”
The event is open to service members, veterans and military spouses.
For more information, visit hiringourheroes.org/events.