NIHRA honors veterans, employers

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By Gwen Clayton
gclayton@kpcmedia.com

The Northeast Indiana Human Resources Association met Nov. 5 to honor veterans and the employers who hire them.

Patrick Dooley, president of the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council, spoke to the crowd to talk about his organization. Dooley told the audience that the goal of the NIBCC is to be America’s most engaged military community.

Following Dooley were Kate Virag and Michael Galbraith of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership who gave a presentation about Hoosier Home Base, the partnership’s new online community for military veterans. Hoosier Home Base connects veterans and their families with jobs, housing and other community services.

Delivering the keynote address was Maj. Matt Metzger, budget officer for the Ohio Air National Guard and formerly of the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne.

“Almost every single job that you’re looking to fill, we have a member either as active duty or reserve component who has done that and they’ve done it under threat of fire,” Metzger told the crowd.

He also educated the group about military functions compared to civilian businesses, and what the stresses of the citizen airman were, which are often related to balancing career, home and military life.

After the speech, members of the NIHRA board presented certificates to employers who had met the group’s criteria for being veteran friendly. More than 100 company representatives attended the meeting, although 342 certificates were awarded.