Organizers of a new veterans expo and skill-shadowing event are looking for veterans in need of skills and some businesses willing to help them.
The inaugural "Beyond Thank You" Veterans' Resources Expo and Business and Community Shadow & Skills Day will be held Friday, Nov. 16.
Organizers are hoping the first event will garner enough interest to launch a nonprofit that hosts the event every year, said Kim Walsh-Phillips, a member of a 10-person coalition formed to create the event.
Walsh-Phillips said the idea to help veterans return to the civilian workforce was sparked last Veterans Day when she drove past the crowds at area businesses offering specials to or those who served in the military.
She wanted to give them something more than a free car wash or breakfast.
Walsh-Phillips said her husband is a U.S. Marine combat veteran who saw some of his former comrades struggle to re-enter civilian life, so the couple launched the effort to "go beyond thanking our soldiers and do something that would make a difference in their future."
The expo will feature booths manned by local groups and organizations that assist veterans, while the following "Community Shadow & Skills Day" will provide them career support and networking, she said.
Business participation: Several businesses will participate, opening their doors to offer skills training, networking, and education resources ranging.
Lessons will range from how to use social media to look for a job to how to lay tile, she said.
Veterans who would be interested in participating and businesses that would like to help can visit http://www.beyondthankyou.com/home/ and see "Ways to Get Involved."
Also needed are veterans who have successfully transitioned to civilian life and can serve as mentors.
The Veterans' Resources Expo will be held 7-9 a.m. on Nov. 16 at the Graham Aquatic Center, 543 N. Newberry St.
The Business and Community Shadow & Skills Day follows, located at several participating businesses from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., also on Nov. 16.