At ‘Heroes’ job fair, Utah veterans get chance to shine
Hiring • More than 400 connect with 130-plus employers at event.
Published: April 17, 2013 09:25PM
Updated: April 17, 2013 06:58PM
Paul Fraughton | The Salt Lake Tribune Tonya Gonzales of Smith's Food and Drug Stores talks with David Dobbs about available jobs at different stores in the area. Hundreds of former and active military men and women met with potential employers at the 2013 Hiring Our Heros Job Fair held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in conjunction with the Governor's Military and Family Summit on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Wednesday, April 17, 2013

If Patricia Devey had her way, every one of the employees she hires for AIL Altig, an international insurance company, would be a veteran.

Devey’s company was one of 133 that saw a stream of job seekers at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes job fair Wednesday in Salt Lake City.

Unemployment among veterans remains higher than for the rest of the population, and the rate is especially high for young vets.

The event was held in conjunction with the Governor’s Military and Families Summit at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

More than 400 veterans and their spouses attended the fair, dropping off résumés, scoping out the job market. Among them was Aaron Nelson, a new soldier in the Utah National Guard.

A graduate of the Western New England University law school in 2011, Nelson works part time as a substitute teacher and is looking for full-time work.

“This seemed a good opportunity to see what’s available,” he said.

Devey said that the Hiring Our Heroes career fair is one of her favorites. “A lot of that is because veterans have a work ethic,” said Devey.

“It’s really hard to find people who are willing to work and get paid for what they’re worth.”

A third of AIL Altig’s 45 Utah employees are veterans, she said. She expects to double the number of workers within the next two months as the company, which handles insurance for unions, expands in Utah.

Twitter: @KristenMoulton