Job fair points Fort Bragg service members to best sources for future civilian employment
April 8, 2011
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Just before noon Wednesday, more than 1,200 people converged on the Army Career and Alumni Program's spring job fair at the Fort Bragg Club.
One hundred and ten companies were represented at the job fair, said William McMillian, ACAP transition services manager. The program helps servicemembers who transition from military to civilian life.
Sgt. Brandon Kelley, of the 82nd Airborne Division, has spent four years in military intelligence and plans to separate from the Army in a few months. Kelley said he stopped by to find out what options he would have once he leaves active duty.
"I get out in August, so I'm currently looking for opportunities on the outside," said Kelley, who conferred with Kristen McKee, a recruiter with Oak Grove Technologies, an intel company located in Raleigh, N.C.
Kelley learned that the company has career opportunities for servicemembers who have already served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The company also prefers that applicants have four years of intel and analytical experience and a minimum of a secret security clearance, preferably top secret, McKee said.
Jessica Balik and Ryan Maxfield gathered information from Officer Andre' M. Taylor, a recruiter and intern coordinator with the San Antonio Police Department. Balik and Maxfield work as analyst for a civilian company that they did not wish to name.
The job fair provided a large venue of companies with expertise in their field.
"We're just trying to find out if the service we provide for our military customers apply to the law enforcement industry," Maxfield said. "It's a huge venue. It's larger than we thought it was going to be."
Taylor, who retired from the military in 2010 after 21 years of service, of which eight were as a military policeman, said that servicemembers should consider continuing their service in San Antonio.
"Those people who have a strong desire to still serve their immediate community wherever they choose to live, San Antonio is a military town and it's a great place to serve," Taylor said.
Law enforcement also provides a transition for servicemembers to continue using their weapons skills and their discipline, he said.
Also represented at the job fair were education institutions such as Herzing University, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Grand Canyon University and Fayetteville Technical Community College.
Tom Prestwood is a veteran with experience in aviation logistics and training. A retired Air Force technician sergeant, Prestwood said he attended the fair because he is interested in continuing his education.
He talked to Lisa Autry, a military education liaison with Herzing University, based in Milwaukee, Wis.
"I found out that I might be able to use my master's degree with their online program," said Prestwood, who holds his degree in international studies from Troy State University, now known as Troy University, with campuses located in Alabama and worldwide.
For sergeants Rebecca Manda and Preston Miller, both of Company D., Warrior Transition Battalion, the job fair provided the chance to obtain leads on intel opportunities once they separate from the Army in the upcoming months.
"Recruiters have had knowledge, not just about what the company can do, but what the positions are," Manda said. "They're right on top of what kind of needs they have. "We're not losing precious time talking to people who don't need our skill set," she said.
"It's good to see people actively shopping for our skills," he said.
The best advice that McMillian said he could give to servicemembers seeking employment beyond the military is to prepare a targeted resume' and send it to a company representative. The writing of a resume' is like an operations order - you target it to the mission; find employers interests and requests McMillian said. "If you have those skills, that's what you put on the resume'," he said.
For more information about the ACAP program, call 396-2227/7188 or visit its webpage at www.acap.army.mil. The ACAP center is located on the first floor of the Soldier Support Center, Building 4-2843, Normandy Drive.