NAMPA – Finding military veterans jobs is something that is a high priority across the country and here in Idaho.
Hero 2 Hired hosted a job fair Thursday where one organization is trying to help people transition from the military, which according to July 2013 Pew Research study, is the most esteemed profession in America; to the second most esteemed job - teaching.
That organization is called Troops to Teachers. It's a Department of Defense program that started in 1992 and since has placed over 100 Idaho veterans into teaching positions.
For six hours on Thursday, Scott Fife stood at his booth, Troops to Teachers, looking to find what he calls the next rock star.
"We're helping these guys and gals in the military transition from the front lines to the classroom," said Fife.
Fife says the transition to becoming a teacher is not difficult, but his organization is there to help veterans, as well as active members and their spouses become full-time teachers.
"The reason schools love our military veterans is because they're experienced, leadership, discipline. They bring a lot to the school room," said Fife.
Colton Pasto is currently a part of the Idaho National Guard - serving as a medic with the 116th.
"I try to get jobs where I can, full-time National Guard when I can, but substitute teaching is my main source of income at this point," said Pasto.
He wants to transition from a part-time substitute to teaching as a career.
"Military, no matter what branch it is, teaches nothing but leadership qualities and instills that in a lot of the troops, so I think they make great teachers," said Pasto.
But those qualities aren't limited to teaching and all these other employers at the fair knew that.
Teri Sackman with Hero 2 Hired, the organization that hosted the job fair, says members of the military are very trainable.
"They know how to think on their feet because they've been out in the field and they've been battle tested as to their problem solving skills and things like that," said Sackman.
All they need is a chance to stand out, and if Fife has his way, a chance to stand in front of a class.
"Our veterans, because experience, because of their leadership, they make great teachers. Like I said, they make rock star teachers and our schools love them," said Fife.
Past job fairs proved to be very successful for veterans and this one was no different. Organizers tell us 71 people received job offers on the spot, with over 200 more offers extended.
Hero 2 Hired is a program that supports veterans and military members become career ready so they can have solid employment rather than working odd jobs without a goal.