As part of the initiative to build Maryland’s Prince George’s County into a destination that is both attractive to businesses and people, the Economic Development Corp.(EDC) and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations have scheduled monthly job and career fairs for the next six months to address unemployment within the veteran population.

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The county’s Operation 500 initiative is part of Operation Hire: Maryland’s 100 Day Veteran Hiring Challenge, which reflects the commitment of the prior governor’s administration to support veteran employment. The program’s Aug. 1 event attracted more than 200 veterans. The next Operation 500 event is scheduled to be held on Sept. 12 at 1801 McCormick Drive, Suite 140 in Largo, Md.

“The EDC has launched ‘Operation 500’ to make an impactful difference in the lives of the brave men and women who have served this country and may now find themselves in need of employment,” James Coleman, president and CEO of the EDC told the AFRO via e-mail Aug. 11.  “The success of veterans entering employment and retaining employment is a joint effort that includes county, state and federal partners.”

The program has partnered with more than 20 county employers and resource partners to provide good jobs, training and other resources to veterans.

“Whether a veteran needs immediate employment, housing to stabilize to go into employment, or clothing to go into employment, all of these stakeholders are working together to ensure that these veterans get employed,” Coleman said.

According to the EDC, more than 2,700 unemployed veterans have been identified in the county. The initiative’s current goal is to employ 500 veterans in high wage jobs.

Operation 500 is being funded through the Veterans State Grant Program that allows veterans with significant barriers to employment to receive tailored employment and training services.