Job fair helps Soldiers find post-service work
July 27, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- When the doors opened at the Civilianjobs.com job fair at The Landing July 20, Soldiers, retirees and Family members from around the area and beyond poured in to find out who was looking for them.
This is the third year the job fair has occurred at Fort Rucker, and those in attendance said it was nice to see employers who were looking specifically for servicemembers and their Family members.
“I really came to introduce myself to prospective employers because I’m due to retire in December,” said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Mitchell, 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment battalion safety noncommissioned officer in charge. “I’m trying to plan ahead now and get ready for my post-military career. This is a great opportunity for those who are trying to plan their future after the military.”
Bryan Tharpe, Army Career and Alumni Program Transition Services manager, said the event has seen growth over the last two years and that this one was no different.
“We’ve got a lot of employers and Soldiers with the right skill sets here,” he said. “I’m pretty optimistic about their chances of finding jobs. I’ve wandered around a little and tried to hook potential employees up with the right employers for their skills.”
More potential employers join the job fair each year and this has increased the chances for Soldiers, Family members and retirees to find work, said Vicki Washington, Civilianjobs.com job fair operations director.
“When these types of events are held in the communities, Soldiers and their Families have to compete with other job seekers and it can be even harder to find a job,” she said.
Washington, a retired sergeant major, said the event also featured another benefit that many took advantage of: pre-registration.
“By preregistering, potential employees could be better matched by their skill sets and geography with potential employers,” she said. “We had about 200 people preregister and that allowed us to set some of them up with employers who are looking for specifically what they have to offer.”
Washington also said she was impressed by the increasing number of “military-friendly” organizations who choose to be part of the event each year.
“It’s really grown from where it was a couple years ago when we started it here,” she said. “I think we’ve probably tripled the number of employers since then.”
One company, Contracting, Consulting, Engineering Inc., looking for those with a background in Aviation set up a booth at the event for the first time.
“We have a technical services section that handles Aviation contracts and Fort Rucker, being the Aviation training center, is the perfect place to find those for that profession,” said Rafael Olivera, CCE Technical Services senior manager. “We have participated with Civilianjobs.com at other bases, but this was our first time to come to Fort Rucker.”
Olivera has some history with the installation as he is a retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 who was stationed here from 1995-1997. He said he worked to bring the TH-67 helicopters here and that being back was a sort of homecoming for him.
“Every base has a set of skills that are geared toward that installation,” he said. “It is interesting coming back in this capacity, but this is a good place to find skilled pilots and many other talented people.”