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Representatives of businesses in the tri-county area attended a recent business symposium at the La Plata campus of the College of Southern Maryland.

The event was sponsored by the College of Southern Maryland Veterans Club on the La Plata campus and the Waldorf Center for Higher Education.

The veterans club was formed during the spring semester in 2012 by Mike Moses and is an inclusive, nonpartisan group that supports all CSM student veterans and their dependents and is associated with all branches of the uniformed military services.

The club’s purpose is the advancement of student veterans, their rights and benefits, as well as to provide a social group to help veterans adjust to and become successful in civilian and college life.

The club will organize projects and events focused on veterans’ needs and issues, while providing an environment of camaraderie and service to the community.

The club’s priorities are networking with businesses in an effort to transition our veterans for employment and act as a channel and to support the goal of assisting both in networking and employment for veterans in the tri-county area.

Lane Williams, program manager of DLLR Maryland State Veterans Affairs and master of ceremonies at the April event, said the purpose of the business symposium was to educate the business community about becoming a military-friendly employer and how to translate military skills with many more helpful strategies available for use in the veteran hiring process.

Michael Townshend, human resource director, and Ron Samuels of the veteran service program, provided the information and tools available from state, local and nonprofit organizations to enable businesses to make an effort to hire and retain veterans.

The information, connections and resources they provided at the symposium will assist tri-county businesses in hiring the talent of veterans and pave the way for a more competitive workforce.

Symposium speaker and panelist Al Brewster of Battle Buddie works as a mediator between veterans and society and said using the resources would help both parties to manage and find some stability and peace to promote military-friendly employment.

Guest speaker Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Lawrencia Pierce encouraged Southern Maryland employers to tap into the knowledge and skills veterans bring back from military service.

The talent and experiences veterans bring back from their service in the military are an important and all-too-often untapped resource for the community.

Maryland DLLR connects veterans with employers and job opportunities in Southern Maryland. The Southern Maryland Veterans Business Symposium is an opportunity to help veterans use their skills to get a job and help employers find talented and experienced individuals to fill open jobs.

Lane Williams also said the business symposium event connects Southern Maryland veterans with Southern Maryland employers who value the skills, experience, discipline and other exceptional qualities essential with a military background.

Local and state businesses could be part of an employment effort aimed at helping veterans make the transition to the civilian labor force. Lane also encouraged veterans to take advantage of the services available to them at workforce development offices across the state.

Closing remarks by Bill Buffington, of the La Plata campus’s veterans organization, said communication is the key.

Veteran symposiums and future events will enable area businesses and communities to develop and understand the benefits available when hiring veterans.