Kentucky Chamber Foundation Announces Graduation of Inaugural “Military Hiring Academy” Cohort

FRANKFORT, KY — To bridge the gap between employers seeking talent and the military community, the Kentucky Chamber Foundation has announced the completion of its inaugural “Military Hiring Academy,” with 40 business leaders of all industries and sizes graduating from the program in February.

Launched at the beginning of 2024, the Military Hiring Academy equips businesses with the tools and resources needed to recruit, hire, and retain military talent effectively. Through a comprehensive curriculum and hands-on experience, participants gained valuable insights into translating military skills to civilian roles, navigating the unique challenges faced by transitioning service members, and building supportive, inclusive workplace cultures for military members.

Additionally, participants had the opportunity to gain insights from other businesses, forge key connections in the military community, and learn about the many local, state, and federal resources available to support employers in this effort.

Thousands of men and women transition from military service each year, presenting a valuable talent pool. The military spouse unemployment rate has hovered around 21% since 2015. Every year, 200,000 men and women leave U.S. military service and return to life as civilians. Approximately 5,000 of those are exiting from Fort Campbell and 500 from Fort Knox.

"This inaugural Military Hiring Academy exemplifies the business community’s commitment to supporting our military veterans and their spouses by providing valuable training to Kentucky employers,” said Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts. “The Chamber believes fostering such initiatives contributes to the success of our businesses and the well-being of our military community. The overwhelming response to the Military Hiring Academy is a testament to the importance of bridging the gap between employers and our dedicated military personnel, and we look forward to continuing this impactful initiative going forward.”

“Our military community has made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend our nation. A small way we can show our respect to their service is helping them and their families transition to civilian life,” said Kentucky Chamber Chair and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport CEO Candace McGraw. “Thanks to the Military Hiring Academy, we can now equip employers with the knowledge, services, and relationships to create meaningful workforce opportunities for our service members, veterans, and military spouses.”

The Military Hiring Academy programming took place over the course of two full-day training sessions in February at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce office in Frankfort, along with job fairs at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Business leaders in the program were awarded the Society for Human Resource Management “Veterans at Work” certificate for their completion of the program.

The Kentucky Chamber Foundation will select another cohort of employers to participate in next year’s Military Hiring Academy. To learn more about the Military Hiring Academy, visit

# # #


Submit Press Releases