The staff at Monroe College is making every effort to help armed force veterans in the Bronx and Westchester improve their careers and education options.
When college president Steven Jerome hired Allen Hansen as the first ever director of Military and Veterans Enrollment at Monroe, the school’s expectations to help guide U.S. veterans living in the borough were very high.
In a little over a year, Hansen, a U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran, developed the college’s first “Hire a Vet Career Fair,” and has opened Monroe College’s Office of Veteran’s Services during the first week of August.
The career fair took place at Monroe’s Bronx campus at 2501 Jerome Avenue on Thursday, July 28, and several private colleges and universities, the FDNY, Chase and Hudson Valley banks, and other job and educational opportunities set-up informational tables during the 4-hour event.
“We want the veterans in the Bronx and Westchester to realize that there are so many opportunities for them when they complete their service,” Hansen said. “Some vets need a job, but some also need an education. That’s why we decided to make this a career and educational fair, so that we can give our veterans options.”
Currently, Monroe College has one of the largest returning veteran enrollments in the greater New York area. The college has always been veteran-friendly, but a career fair to further help the men and women who served the country was an important addition.
Hansen, who retired from the Navy in 1996 as a district trainer in New York and New Jersey, was inspired by a veterans workshop at Fordham University earlier this year. It took about a month to set-up the Monroe veteran fair, and the only thing he regrets is not getting the word out more.
“We notified several veteran organizations through their websites, but next time, we want to get the word out through newspapers and flyers all over the borough,” Hansen said. “We’re very happy with the turnout for our first time, but we know we can do a lot better.”
Hansen said the second fair will be this fall, either in late September or early October. The main goal is for Monroe, which is a tri-semester college, to host a veterans fair two or three times a year.
“We enjoy helping those who served for our country,” Hansen said. “Sometimes that doesn’t just mean finding a job, but also in enhancing education. That is why we invited a lot of other colleges and universities, to give these veterans a wide range of opportunities.”
For more information about future veteran’s fairs, contact Monroe College’s Office of Veterans Services at (718) 933-6700.