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Hire a Hero Job Fair helps to ease vets’ path to civilian employment


PORTSMOUTH — Jason Therrien, 23, of Manchester would like a job in engineering, but right now, he will take about anything he can get.

The New Hampshire Air National Guardsman was one of at least 25 people interviewed by Mike Moran, recruiting director for Orbis. The defense contractor is based in South Carolina with an office in Portsmouth and recently won a large contract with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard that will add about 75 employees to its staff.

The company is veteran-owned, and Moran himself served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years.

Orbis was one of about 50 vendors, large and small, that participated in the Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair at the Frank Jones Center in Portsmouth on Tuesday.

Vendors ranged from New Hampshire State Police to Bank of America.

Therrien said these are the kinds of companies he is looking to work for, companies that know how military skills translate into the civilian world.

NHANG Brig. Gen. Carolyn Protzmann said veterans and reservists sometimes have a hard time making that translation, and the job fair gives them an opportunity to talk with company representatives.

She said veterans have skills, including loyalty, ethics and commitment that are also valuable in civilian work.

“Employers should be very pleased with anyone they are interviewing today,” Protzmann said.

Gov. Maggie Hassan used Tuesday’s job fair as an opportunity to thank veterans, and to highlight why hiring veterans is a good idea for any business in New Hampshire.

Hassan said the state’s veterans and families represent the best of the state’s rich talent pool and have the character, experience and a work ethic that would be an asset for any employer.

The job fair was hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is one of about 600 such job fairs around the country so far this year.

Prior to speaking at the job fair, Hassan toured the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Following the event, she was scheduled to cut the ribbon for the Harborside Park project in Seabrook, which is designed to provide a saltwater fishing experience for people with physical disabilities.

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