Is it better to launch a major one-off event to help individuals find work or establish a long-term program that will connect people with jobs over time? The answer will vary by time and place, and there is room for both kinds of efforts. Notably, programs of each type are springing up specifically to help the military community.

These projects are rendering a valuable service, as it's worrying to think of veterans coming back from active duty but being unable to connect with companies that can use their unique and effective mix of discipline and skills. Below are one example each of a long-term career program and a one-time job fair to serve as inspiration for those planning to use such services – or operating them.

Tech program in Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia, is home to a new partnership in which two local organizations and the city government team up to help veterans access one of the most promising and in-demand sectors of the job market – information technology. Local TV station WAVY reported that the initiative, dubbed TechForce, involves training for post-9/11 veterans or their spouses. During the program, participants will receive a salary as they learn about popular IT topics such as cybersecurity for Cisco networks and administrating Windows servers. They can even receive certification as Microsoft Technology Associates.

"With so much demand for IT workers today, the focus area is well chosen."

Currently employed vets can take the program as well, but their roles must make them less than $13 hourly, WAVY explained. The initiative is all about helping military members move up into tech-focused roles. With so much demand for workers in these professions today, the focus area is well chosen.

"The City of Norfolk has proven its commitment to veterans with its innovative initiatives, and we are happy to contribute to the successful programming from the City." said Anthony Dale, CEO of Social Impact Collective, one of the organizations assisting Norfolk with the program.

Career fair in Cincinnati
Exemplifying the one-day event version of a career program, RecruitMilitary and Disabled American Veterans recently teamed up for a veteran-focused hiring fair. Journal-News reported that the gathering took place at Great American Ballpark, where the Cincinnati Reds ply their trade. The fair catered to both veterans and current military members, including National Guardsmen and those serving in the Army Reserve. Also, like the Norfolk program described above, military spouses were allowed to participate.

"Just last year, 56 percent of veteran job seekers expected to secure an interview as a result of their participation in a RecruitMilitary job fair and employers were expected to extend as many as 38,700 interviews and more than 12,000 job offers," the organization's CEO Peter Gudmundsson told the news provider."

Every community has its needs
Wherever veterans settle after they leave the military, they'll be on the lookout for good jobs. The organizations behind career fairs and employment training programs understand these needs and set out to ensure employers connect with great candidates. There's no need to choose which kind of process is better able to prepare individuals for the workforce, as they can all coexist across the country, with vets picking the programs that interest them.