The Army was the standout employer at the Aug. 24 career expo at the Von Braun Center South Hall.

Judging from the lines of unemployed and underemployed candidates waiting to talk to an Army representative, Janice Hunt of Aviation and Missile Command Human Resources said The Huntsville Times Mega Career Expo was a "huge success."

"We got a lot of good qualified candidates," Hunt said. "AMCOM will be able to make probably several selections from the resumes we collected."

Besides AMCOM, Army participants in the career expo included the Army Materiel Command, Lead AMC Integration Support Office, Army Research Development and Engineering Command, Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, Army Contracting Command and Army Expeditionary Contracting Command.

The career expo began at 10 a.m. and continued until 4 p.m. But the lines at the nine Army booths kept human resources specialists at the expo until after 5 p.m.

"Everybody stayed until we had talked to everyone in our lines," Hunt said.

Hunt said Army and expo representatives were surprised at the large number of job applicants who waited in long lines to talk to an Army human resources specialist. The Army presence overshadowed the other 20-plus employers at the career expo.

"Our intent was to use the private interviewing areas to make tentative job offers there," Hunt said. "But I don't think anybody really had enough time to do that because we had so many candidates to talk with."

She said the resumes collected at the expo will be reviewed by hiring managers, matched against criteria and chosen for hiring. The career expo was the first time the Army organizations had used the recent expedited hiring authority that allows human resources specialists to make tentative job offers to those who meet highly qualified criteria.

"To use the expedited hiring authority at the career expo, we had to make public notice announcement on our job openings," Hunt said.

"CPAC (Civilian Personnel Advisory Center) worked really hard to get all those announcements out in time for the career expo. CPAC got those announcements out so that management could make offers."

That teamwork continued at the career expo.

"All of the recruiters and everybody worked really well together to get everybody interviewed who came to see us at the career expo," Hunt said, mentioning that CPAC and organization human resources representatives worked together to interview candidates at the career expo.

Karen McNully is hoping her 13 years as a Soldier will help her qualify for a civilian Army job. She has worked on the Ground-Based Missile Defense Program as a Teledyne Brown Engineering employee for about 11 years. But that work will come to an end in about two weeks when she will be laid off.

Sharon Coleman and Jacqueline Prichett, who both already work for the Army at Redstone Arsenal, hope to gain some new employment opportunities.

"The intern program is the way to get into a career field," said Coleman, who estimated she had waited four hours in lines to talk to Army representatives. "I want to gain training and experience in a specialized field. Where I am now there is no room for progress. I have maxed out in my pay band."

For Prichett, the career expo represented an opportunity to remain in Huntsville.

"My organization might be moving and I don't want to move," she said. "I'm trying to be proactive and find a job that will keep me here."

Hunt said now that the career expo has been a success, it is up to Human Resources and CPAC to make sure employees are hired to fill the current and future needs of Army organizations on Redstone Arsenal.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16