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Veterans connect with job opportunities through airport

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles International Airport and Edge4Vets continued their partnership May 15 to connect military servicemen and women with airport jobs. 

Going beyond the expectations of a conventional job fair, Edge4Vets brings veterans and hiring professionals together for a substantive discussion that highlights how veterans can discuss their military service with companies that are looking for skilled and motivated applicants. 

Seminar attendees connected with 20 representatives from 12 airport employers. In total, 26 people participated in the program by attending the in-person training session or completing coursework online. 

“Edge4Vets has connected veterans with jobs at LAX and our greater airport community, and these employees have in turn brought perseverance, dedication and focus on mission to our teams,” said Paula Adams, director of airports administration. “Creating a great place to work starts with building a great team, and at LAX, we are proud of the many veterans who are part of creating a gold-standard experience for all of our guests.”

Now in its third year at LAX, the Edge4Vets seminar offered veterans a unique opportunity to meet one on one with a mentoring hiring manager or human resources professional. 

Participating employers included LAX, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Paradies Lagadère, Midway Auto Group and others. 

The airport extended two provisional job offers to attending veterans. Other attendees received job interview appointments from participating companies. 

This year’s seminar also included Volunteers for America, the West Los Angeles Vet Center and Goodwill of SoCal. The nonprofit organizations offered assistive services to seminar attendees including housing, mental health support and job-related cost assistance for things such as paying for gas and work clothing.

“Following their service to our country, our veterans deserve a chance to realize their post-service potential,” said Tom Murphy, founder of Edge4Vets. “Edge4Vets helps them do this by providing a great opportunity for veterans to connect face to face with employers, which can lead to an airport job that can become a promising career.”

Seminar participants worked side by side with representatives from airport companies who acted as mentors, helping veterans identify skills and values learned during their service. Later in the seminar, attendees were able to ask questions and learn about job opportunities directly from the managers themselves. 

Attending companies — offering positions in information technology, aviation, law enforcement, engineering, retail, sales and facilities maintenance — learned about the veterans’ experiences and expectations and were able to make direct connections with them that can last beyond the seminar.

The partnership between airport and Edge4Vets began in 2017, and complements other job outreach efforts offered by the airport. Others include job fairs throughout LAX-area cities and neighborhoods; the HireLAX apprentice readiness program; and the Jobs@LAX website, which includes job opportunities at LAX-based companies.

Edge4Vets was developed by the Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University in New York, and comes to LAX in partnership with Airport Council International-North America (ACI-NA) following successful implementations at airports on the East Coast and in the south.

Wave Staff Report