GE hires LHA for veteran outreach initiative

FAIRFIELD, CT: General Electric has hired LHA Investor & Media Relations to promote the company's job opportunities for veterans.

FAIRFIELD, CT: General Electric has hired LHA Investor & Media Relations to promote the company's job opportunities for veterans.

GE, which wants to hire 5,000 veterans over the next five years, has partnered with the US Chamber of Commerce to sponsor 400 job fairs for veterans this year as part of the “Hiring Our Heroes” initiative. GE is also asking some of its 10,000 veteran employees to provide job-hunting tips to former servicemen and servicewomen at the fairs.  

“Veterans need the help, as they may not be getting fair shots at employment because of not being able to translate their [military] skills to potential employers,” said Michael Tresca, manager of extended audiences communication at GE.

The US declared an end to active combat in Iraq late last year, and also began to draw down forces in Afghanistan. The Defense Department has also announced plans to pare down the number of its active servicepeople to reduce its budget in coming years.

GE brought LHA on board last month for the project following an RFP, said Tresca. It hired the agency because of its previous Armed Forces-related work.

The primary focus of the firm's work is media relations, said Adam Handelsman, managing director and principal at LHA.

Instead of a national campaign, GE is specifically targeting cities in which it will hold job fairs. The media can not only interview veterans just returned from Afghanistan and Iraq, but also witness them finding work on the spot with a participating company.

“It's doing good, and in some cases, you can see the impact right away, which is phenomenal,” said Handelsman.

GE is also handling some parts of the initiative in house. The company created a microsite with a blog and stories of veterans who already work at the company.

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