The ballrooms inside the NCO Club were buzzing with activity June 11 during the Hiring our Heroes Career Summit hosted by Fort Jackson's Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program. Soldiers, veterans, retirees and their Families were invited to attend the day-long event that included preparation seminars and the hiring event.

"This an amazing opportunity for our Soldiers and Family members," said Carolyn Andrews, SFL-TAP services manager and event coordinator. "We have over 60 employers that are here to present employment."

To qualify to attend the summit, each employer must have a minimum of three positions that are available for immediate hire. This means that more than 180 positions were available during the summit.

"These kinds of programs are huge in a Soldier, spouse and Family's life," said Command Sgt. Maj. John D. Tanchak, U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School. "This can definitely help the Family nucleus."

It can be difficult for some spouses and Family members to start or maintain a career as they frequently move to various military installations alongside their sponsor.

Lasonya Orellana, a military spouse and veteran, said career summits can provide an opportunity to seek employment near their current duty station and network to ensure their ability to continue their career once they move again.

"It's a great resource and a chance to network. When you're dropped into a new place, it foreign to you," Orellana said. "It's also good for our young military spouses who are new to the (military) world and don't know much about a career."

Unique to the career summit were the seminars held in the morning for attendees. They covered keys to starting a career, perspectives on career planning and how to maximize career networking applications such as LinkedIn and a federal employment workshop. Attendees were also able to have their resumes reviewed, participate in mock interviews, take professional head shot photos and receive coaching for their LinkedIn profiles.

Once the training seminars were complete, potential employees were escorted to the main ballrooms where they met company and agency representatives eager to meet a possible future employee.

"Work history and life experience," said Lance Cpl. Delvin "D" Brown, community relations and recruiting for the South Carolina Highway Patrol, when asked why his agency hires veterans. "That life experience is something you can carry to our agency. That's something we want."

For more information about upcoming Hiring our Heroes Career Fairs and Summits, visit hiringourheroes.org. For more information about Fort Jackson's Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program call 751-4109 or to learn about current and future opportunities, follow SFL-TAP on their Facebook page at facebook.com/JacksonSFLTAP.