1-347th Regiment hosts job fair for transitioning Soldiers
April 4, 2011
FORT GILLEM, Ga. - As the Army transitions back to its pre-9/11 status for Army Reserve troops, many who were called to active duty to supplement the force are moving back to their civilian positions or looking for new jobs.
The 1-347th Regiment, 188th Infantry Brigade, made up largely of Reserve Soldiers serving in an active status, held a second job fair March 19 during its last battle assembly weekend, the first of which was successful in finding employment for five of its members.
Sgt. 1st Class Steve Lark, a mechanic by trade, was recently hired through Aerotek to work for Oshkosh Corp. as one of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle instructors in Kuwait, as a result of the first job fair.
"I felt the job fair was right on time for me as I was coming off orders," said Lark. "It was a God-send for me to get hired right now."
Among the companies present were: Allied Barton Security, Bradley-Morris, Inc., Central Refrigerated Services Inc., Lowe's, RaceTrac Petroleum and Shorter College, as well as representatives from Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
"I have concerns for many of the Soldiers coming off active-duty orders," said Lt. Col. Michael A. Plattenburg, 1-347th Regiment commander. "Many of them have been mobilized for the past three to five years and some don't have civilian employment to return to now that they are at the end of their time on active-duty."
During the career fair, Bradley-Morris, Inc., the largest military job placement firm in the U.S., offered Soldiers career options available with Bradley-Morris.
Central Refrigerated Services Inc. explained their Central Refrigerated Armed Forces Training program, which provides free training and a position in the company for military veterans who complete the training academy, for those interested in a career in truck driving.
Allied Barton Security, one of the leading security companies, who makes hiring veterans an important part of its recruiting strategy, was also actively pursuing Soldiers who already have the basic skills needed for security to work for their company.
Lowe's and RaceTrac Petroleum were both looking to fill both local and corporate-level positions with military candidates with the necessary skills.
"Working with the military is a passion for me," said Chevalier Wilson, a retired Army officer, now a recruiting and engagement specialist at RaceTrac Petroleum. "We, as a company, are looking to partner with the military to hire veterans."
Shorter College marketed their night class setting to Soldiers looking to continue their education.
"We want to make sure we support the career progression of our Soldiers as they make the transition back to civilian employment," said Capt. Chiquita Hart, adjutant officer for 1-347th Regiment, who assisted in organizing the career fair.
The 188th Infantry Brigade, along with the other training support brigades in First Army Division East, provides and facilitates theater-focused training for deploying National Guard and Reserve units and assists with redeployment and demobilizing following deployment. Based out of Fort Stewart, the 188th "Battle Ready" Brigade has been training Reserve Component units for deployments continuously since 2003.