One hundred and fifty-four students and professionals attended the summit, which was a collaborative effort between Kent State University’s College of Business Administration human resource faculty and the College’s Career Services Office along with the University’s Division of Human Resources. Of the attendees, 53 were professionals from various organizations including the Eaton Corporation, Marriot, Case Western Reserve University, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Key Bank, Cleveland Clinic, Hattie Larlham and Quicken Loans.
The summit featured keynote speaker LaToya Smith, AVP, team lead talent acquisition consultant of Fifth Third Bank. The summit focused on what HR people and recruiters can do to help employ veteran, wounded veterans, felons, women returning to work, global immigrants, recent immigrants and long-term unemployed or underemployed.
Smith’s keynote address focused on how the “talent war” poses challenges on hiring top talent and how individuals can create a defense through development, partnership, collaboration and innovation.
During the breakout session speakers discussed Attracting and Hiring Veterans, Hiring the Employed and Underemployed, From Jail to Jobs and Global Recruitment.
“The sessions addressed worker populations that are typically underrepresented in the workforce because organizations don’t know how to recruit them or how to appropriately assess their capabilities,”
Jason Braase, a veteran who understands the difficulties of reentering the workforce, spoke during lunch on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Project. The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to empower and honor Wounded Warriors.
“WWP support is directly improving lives by providing exactly what our warriors and their caregivers need” Braase said. “For me, I needed a purpose. I want to be there for warriors just like they have been there for me, and being a peer mentor has given me that opportunity.”
Braase discussed how his injuries from an improvised explosive device and 13 surgeries inspired him to share his story with others.
“When I first arrived to the United States from Iraq, I had nothing – not even a toothbrush,”
The HR Summit ended with a networking event highlighting student career opportunities and an opportunity to connect with area recruiters.
The next HR Forum will discuss leadership and will be held on April 18 in the Kiva. To register for the event visit and for more information regarding the College of Business Administration, visit www.kent.edu/