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Hiring Our Heroes

Brig. Gen. Michael J. Garshak, the adjutant general of Idaho and commander of the Idaho National Guard, answers questions from local employers during a Hiring Heros seminar at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho on Sept. 6, 2018.

Brig. Gen. Michael J. Garshak, the adjutant general of Idaho and commander of the Idaho National Guard, answers questions from local employers during a Hiring Heros seminar at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho on Sept. 6, 2018. The four-hour seminar was designed to inform employers about the unique skill set a veteran brings to civilian businesses. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Joshua C. Allmaras)

GOWEN FIELD, Idaho --

Members of the Idaho National Guard, the yellow ribbon program and the Idaho Department of Labor hosted a veteran hiring event for local employers Sept. 6 here.
The free Hiring Our Heroes event educated employers on veteran employment laws, creating job openings that are attractive to veterans and the mutual benefits of hiring veterans.
“The whole goal is to help employers understand why they should hire veterans and reservists,” said Forest C. Syruws, the Idaho yellow ribbon program manager.
Syruws said the pool of veterans in Idaho is significant, making events like this more important than ever.
According to the Idaho Department of Labor, more than 130,000 Idahoans are veterans of the armed forces. That number makes Idaho’s veteran population one of the highest percentages in the country.
Although there’s a large pool of potential employees, Syruws said employers still have questions when it comes to hiring veterans.
“The biggest misconception employers have is the translation of a military job into a civilian job,” said Syruws. “Employers are also concerned about guardsmen and reservists being gone.”
Guest speakers including Brig. Gen. Michael J. Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho and commander of the Idaho National Guard, and Maj. Tracy R. Busmann, the 124th Force Support Squadron commander, helped eradicate these concerns.
Garshak emphasized that military members’ initiative to carry out tasks is sometimes difficult to pull out of a resume, but an important differentiator when it comes to hiring.
Busmann provided an a-ha moment when she spoke about military members receiving a college degree through the Air Force, said Syruws. She bridged the gap for audience members who struggled to see similarities between military and civilian careers.
Hiring events will continue throughout Idaho in addition to a future website dedicated to job openings in Idaho exclusively for veterans, said Syruws.