SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy kicked off its third annual Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Conference at the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown San Diego, Oct. 29.
The goal of the conference is to ensure that Wounded Warriors have the right support when they seek civilian employment after leaving military service.
"We are very excited about our program over the next two days," said Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Juan Garcia III.
The program offers informative breakout sessions covering a wide array of topics to help organizations recruit, hire, and train and retain Wounded Warriors, said Garcia.
"The conference is designed to provide best practices and the most up-to-date information on Wounded Warrior hiring and support across America," said Garcia.
The two-day conference includes a number of workshops to educate job-seeking veterans on how to go about finding work.
"I've learned through my experiences at the conferences that I wasn't completely prepared the first or second time I came," said Bobby Green, a wounded Army veteran. "I've used the conferences as a building tool, basically to say 'hey, you're missing this, fix it next time.'"
The conference provides an opportunity for wounded veterans to network and find jobs inside and outside the Department of Defense.
"Networking, that's the strong point that I always go back to. If you're looking for a job, network," said Green. "The conference itself is great for networking."
Edgar Renales, human resource specialist and project manager for Department of the Navy Employment Information Center said that there are a lot of advantages to hiring wounded veterans.
"A lot of the people I've worked with are in their early twenties and they bring in these skills that we typically don't see in a young person, said Renales. "They've got leadership skills, loyalty, the ability to adapt quickly to environmental changes and - not just those skills - they also bring the skills that they've obtained from their military service, depending on their occupation. All of those skills, alone, are greatly beneficial in the civilian or private sector."
Within the Department of the Navy there are 201,000 civilian positions. "Fifty-seven percent of those are veterans," said Jean Mercer, director for civilian human resource systems and business transformation for the Department of the Navy. "We hire on an average anywhere from 16-23,000 civilians per year. Of those hires, we average 59 percent veterans and of that 59 percent, 14 percent are disabled veterans. We are very proud of those numbers."
The conference will conclude Oct. 30.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.