Event Recap – Boeing Veterans in Aerospace Symposium

Boeing Symposium Gives Vets, Active Duty, and Spouses Opportunity to Learn and Network

Boeing registration table

On April 12, 2016, the combined efforts of Boeing and RP/6 brought the Veterans in Aerospace Symposium to downtown Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center. The free event was designed for active duty, transitioning, and prior-service members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses to access information and opportunities in the aerospace and technology fields.

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Twenty RP/6 volunteers and staff members caravanned up the I-5 corridor to assist with event logistics and to ensure that the nearly 100 attendees and more than 30 vendors had everything they needed throughout the panels, workshop, resource fair, and round table discussions.

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The symposium began with a keynote address from Air Force veteran and Boeing’s Vice President of Environment, Health & Safety, Ursula English. During her warm welcome, English discussed the many career opportunities that exist in the aerospace industry for veterans.

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The morning’s panels, both of which were moderated by Boeing spokesperson, Ron Taylor, began with an impressive group of veterans who recently transitioned from their military service to successful careers in the aerospace industry. Air Force veteran Aimee Denning and Marine Corps veteran Mark Martinez, both employees of Boeing, joined Chad Rogers, the Veteran Vocational Specialist at Skookum Contract Services, and Kris McGuire, the CEO of Victory Solutions. Skookum Contract Services is an organization dedicated to creating job opportunities for people with disabilities, and Victory Solutions is a service-disabled veteran-owned and woman owned small business in the aerospace, defense, and technical engineering industries. Together, the panelists shared stories about their transitions and the professional growth and opportunity that has occurred for each of them since.

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The second panel focused on educational opportunities for veterans. Pete Lohr, Boeing’s Director of Quality and Safety Learning Solutions, John Phillips, Veteran Transition Specialist at South Seattle College, Raphael Madison, Marketing Manager for the Washington Aerospace Training & Research Center, and RP/6’s own Education Liaison, Jessie Kimes, shared information regarding a number of programs for veterans to build upon their professional skill set and knowledge base various fields.

Boeing - Educational opportunities panel
Panelists discuss educational opportunities for veterans.

Stane Stec, the Military Hiring Process Owner at Boeing Global Staffing, and RP/6’s Chief Operating Officer, Kylee Durant, rounded out the morning’s sessions by discussing how both Boeing and RP/6 engage and serve the veteran community. The session also included a resume writing and interview skills workshop, which provided information about translating military experiences for the civilian workforce.

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The afternoon’s resource fair gave attendees an opportunity to connect with more than 30 companies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Representatives from national employers such as Microsoft, FedEx Ground, Accenture, and Rockwell Collins, manned tables and discussed career opportunities with attendees. In addition, two-year and four-year colleges and universities including Northeastern University-Seattle, Pierce College, and South Seattle College, shared information about scholarship and funding opportunities as well as unique education programs that fit the needs and interests of the military community. The resource fair was also filled with representatives from veteran serving organizations and government agencies, including the VA, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, FourBlock, Boots to Shoes Foundation, Hire Heroes USA, and Operation Boots in Doors, who spent the afternoon sharing their mission with attendees and discussing both professional and personal services that they provide service members, veterans, and veteran family members.

Boeing - Roundtable Discussions
Attendees network with Boeing employees during an afternoon of round table discussions.

In addition to meeting vendors at the resource fair, attendees spent the afternoon engaging in roundtable discussions and receiving resume assistance from more than 50 Boeing employees, all of whom volunteered their time to take part in the event. Individuals from various Boeing departments, including Engineering, Supplier Management, Logistics, Production, and Human Resources, spoke to attendees about their field, answered questions, and offered pointed resume advice.

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“The event would not have been possible without the enthusiastic efforts of Boeing and RP/6’s staff and volunteers as well as the many community partners who participated. The collaboration was not only streamlined and organized, but it was also fun and inspiring,” said Sherrill Isenhower, the Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator at RP/6. “We are grateful for the opportunity to bring so much expertise and support to one place for those we serve.”

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The RP/6 team thanks Boeing and the many community partners that came together to allow veterans, active duty, and transitioning service members and their spouses to access the resources and opportunity they deserve. We look forward to more great events to come!