Utica, NY (WIBX) - Thanks to the "Hiring Our Heroes" campaign, local veterans have the chance to meet with employers and find work.
This Friday, from noon until 4 p.m. at the National Guard Armory in Utica, veterans and their spouses can talk with 45 employers from various industries, both locally and nationwide.

Kathryn Poynton is the Deputy Director of Event and Strategic Outreach for "Hiring our Heroes." She says events like this give veterans a fighting chance in a tough job market.

"A lot of it, case in point, has to do with the numerous deployments that a lot of our service members have recently been engaged in over the last several years," Poynton said. "So coming back and facing the civilian job market, if you will, has put them at a little bit of a disadvantage behind their civilian counterparts."

She  also  says the preregistration turnout looks good so far for this event, drawing signs of positivity.

"Well, right now we have over about 120 preregistered job seekers," Poynton said. "Again, it's open to all the veterans in the community, so walk-ins are more than welcome the day of the event. We'd like to see everyone get hired that day."

Utica's job fair is part of the "Hiring 500,000 Heroes" campaign, whose goal is to find jobs for 500,000 veterans by the end of 2014. Currently,  "Hiring Our Heroes" has hosted more than 220 functions, helping nearly 10,400 veterans and their spouses find jobs.

The group is also making strides nationwide, having secured about 155,000 hiring commitments from businesses across the United States.

For more information or to get involved, click here.