Department of New Mexico brings jobs to veterans



By Andy Romey

The American Legion’s Department of New Mexico took took a simple approach to hosting a veterans job fair: find employers with open positions and connect them with veterans who need jobs.

That approach was embodied in the department’s first Operation Hiring Heroes Job Fair, hosted last week in conjunction with the New Mexico Workforce Connection and New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions at American Legion Post 13 in Albuquerque.

The event connected around 600 veterans, servicemembers and their family members with 55 employers, all of whom were required to be hiring for at least 10 open positions as a condition for attending. The job fair came at an ideal time, said Department of New Mexico Commander Paul Espinoza, as media reports revealed last week that New Mexico was suffering an unemployment rate that is above the national average.

“The paper just said yesterday that we are just under 6 percent for unemployment in New Mexico, and then this (job fair) came about,” Espinoza said. “This is a godsend.”

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