Sgt. Dakota Meyer and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Chamber Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes Program to Assist Veterans in Job Searches

'Personal Branding Initiative' to Help Veterans Translate Skills for Employment


TORRANCE, Calif. (August 13, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. announced today a partnership with Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation as part of an ongoing initiative to support returning troops and veterans making the transition from military to civilian jobs.   Sgt. Meyer, the first living Marine in three decades to receive the Medal of Honor, will be appearing at various Hiring Our Heroes job fairs around the country to meet with veterans and help them understand the importance of personal branding and how to translate military skills to future employers.
 
Toyota, Hiring Our Heroes and Sgt. Meyer recognized an existing void in the veteran job market and the need for skill translation tools to bridge the gap between military credentials and civilian job descriptions.    Working in unison to develop personal branding collateral, today will mark the beginning of distribution of those materials at 400 job fairs around the country.
 
Speaking at a job fair for veterans at Quantico Marine Base, Don Esmond, Senior Advisor, Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. and former Marine, said “The U.S. is currently facing an unemployment rate for post 9-11 veterans of more than 12%, which has the potential to increase as troops return home from overseas. We believe the Personal Branding Initiative is an important step forward in addressing this challenge because it helps veterans translate their military experience into marketable skills. Toyota is honored to be partnering with Sgt. Dakota Meyer and Hiring Our Heroes and we pledge our full support to the program.”  
 
As a former Marine sniper, Sgt. Meyer has first-hand knowledge and experience of the challenges facing military veterans as they try to acclimate and integrate into civilian life after their turn of duty.   Working closely with Toyota and Hiring Our Heroes, he will be offering his unique insights to the tools being developed, as well as speaking about the importance of personal branding.   Sgt. Meyer will be appearing at numerous job fairs around the country to help spread awareness to the U.S. veteran community.
 
“I was a sniper in the U.S. Marine Corps, so I understand firsthand how hard translating a military skill to a civilian skill can be.  Toyota understands the gap that exists when veterans apply to jobs and face specific challenges in matching future employers job descriptions,” said Sgt. Dakota Meyer. “Our country has been served by the people that make up the best employees – where qualities like loyalty, commitment and hard work are not only required, but honored. Since my return from service, I’ve been very passionate about doing what I can to help veterans. I believe this partnership with Toyota and the Hiring Our Heroes will take those efforts to the next level. I’m excited to be involved and look forward to spreading the word to veterans across the country.” 
 
Toyota’s partnership with Hiring Our Heroes will include prominent displays at job fairs around the country, as well as the ongoing development and promotion of personal branding materials that have been collaboratively developed.   Toyota will also have a seat on the Veterans Employment Advisory Council (VEAC) in the Chairman’s Circle, the highest level that a brand can participate with the U.S. Chamber.

About Toyota
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion.  Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of nearly 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers which sold more than 1.64 million vehicles in 2011.  Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com or www.toyotanewsroom.com.
 
About Sgt. Dakota Meyer
Born and raised in Columbia, Kentucky, Sgt. Meyer enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2006.
A school trained sniper and highly skilled Marine infantryman, he deployed twice to combat duty. In 2007, he deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and during 2009-10, he deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. As a highly decorated Marine combat veteran his personal awards include: Medal of Honor, Purple Heart Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with “V” device for valor, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
 
Sgt. Dakota Meyer completed his active duty in 2010 and now serves in the Individual Ready Reserve of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He also has completed undergraduate college coursework and currently is employed by McDan, Inc. a Kentucky construction company.

Media Contacts:
Steven Curtis
Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
steven_curtis@toyota.com
(212) 715-7448
 
Shand Spencer
Saatchi LA for Toyota
shand.spencer@saatchila.com
(310) 214-6362