FORT SILL, Okla. (March 9, 2017) -- The Army ended 2016 with the lowest amount of unemployment compensation for ex-service members (UCX) in 13 years at $172.8 million, according to the Department of Labor.

At Fort Sill, the UCX has dropped 9 percent since 2014, said Jane Cunningham, Fort Sill Soldier for Life -- Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) transition services manager. The post has traditionally had a lower UXC than other large installations.

This is due in part to the Army placing substantial efforts in assisting Soldiers with developing civilian career skills through its SFL-TAP. The Fort Sill SFL-TAP continues to assist transitioning Soldiers with finding employment by hosting a Hiring Event and Education Fair March 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Rinehart Fitness Center.

About 80 companies, including many national businesses and agencies, and 25 educational institutions will be represented. To participate in the event, companies had to be hiring.

About 4,700 jobs need to be filled locally and nationally, she said. The event will offer opportunities for participants in employment, higher education, entrepreneurship, and to continue in a career track.

The hot jobs are in law enforcement and professional truck driving, said Cunningham. Those professions as well as representatives in the medical, insurance, information technologies, financial services, and many more fields will be on hand.

The Border Patrol, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are hiring thousands, said George Hubbard, contractor installation manager.

Some of the companies and agencies scheduled to attend include the Dallas Fire Department, Federal Bureau of Prisons, New York Life, State Department, UPS, Warren CAT, and Frito-Lay. There also will be many local employers, such as Bar-S, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Fort Sill National Bank, Lawton Public Schools, and Goodyear.

Job seekers can visit the Fort Sill SFL-TAP Facebook page and see the list of companies that will be at the hiring event along with what positions they have open. The list will also include company websites, so employment seekers can research companies that interest them, as well as begin the job application process online, Cunningham said.

The hiring event is to find a career, not a just a job, Hubbard said.

"We all want to get into a profession that we can stay in, grow in and thrive in," he said.
For those who want to begin or continue their higher education, about 25 veteran-friendly colleges, universities and vocational-technical schools will be represented.

Hubbard suggested that attendees should be well-dressed, bring plenty of their resumés and be
prepared to talk one or two minutes about themselves to prospective employers about their career goals and experiences.

When presenting yourself, don't sell yourself short, Cunningham said. "You're not just a cannon crewmember, but everything that goes into firing that cannon, such as the logistics coordination, the safety, the hazardous materials requirements, a section leader, a trainer, all that."

There are also all the traits Soldiers already possess that employers are looking for, such as discipline, leadership, management and teambuilding, focus, integrity and problem solving, she said.

For more information, call the SFL-TAP office at 580-442-2222/2617 or email jane.h.cunningham.civ@mail.mil.