FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Senior recruiting officials from the Chicago Police Department, along with U.S. Army Installation Management Command transition services officials, visited Fort Leonard Wood this week to meet with leadership and tour Fort Leonard Wood facilities in preparation for a special hiring fair scheduled to take place here June 4 and 5 in Bldg. 470.
The visit this week and the fair to come are both part of a new CPD initiative, aimed at hiring transitioning service members, veterans and their families, said Deputy Chief Migdalia Bulnes, from the CPD’s Recruitment and Retention Unit.
Bulnes said she hopes Chicago can be a place where transitioning service members and their families will feel at home after serving their country.
“We are not military, but we understand what it is to find a home,” she said. “(Transitioning service members) need a home to go to after they have served in the military, and we want to give that to them.”
To begin the process, Bulnes said her team reached out to U.S. Army Installation Management Command, which handles the day-to-day operations of Army installations across the globe.
Yolanda Johnson, a policy analyst with IMCOM’s Transition Services Branch at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, oversees the Transition Assistance Program at 58 Army installations. She said once they determined the needs of the Chicago team, and the employment opportunities available, they were able to narrow down a list of potential installations to visit. Fort Leonard Wood was chosen as the first iteration of this initiative due to its relative proximity to Chicago and its position as home of the U.S. Army Military Police School.
“After we looked and saw it was the home of the MPs, we thought Fort Leonard Wood would be a great backdrop for Chicago, and they agreed,” she said.
Fort Leonard Wood Transition Services Manager Walter Harris said he’s always happy to have more job opportunities to provide to transitioning service members, veterans and family members here.
“Our goal is to provide a bridge to employers for our transitioning service members and their families,” he said. “This endeavor provides even more employment opportunities, while also showing appreciation for the skills, talents and experience that is gained through military service.”
Bulnes said all potential applicants at the job fair will be able to complete much of the initial paperwork on the spot, including some of the testing, finger printing, and the required employment questionnaire.
“In creating this, we have eliminated months from the process,” she said.
Applicants do not have to be from Chicago to apply, Bulnes said, adding that Chicago is diverse and welcomes new additions.
“Our admin staff will guide them through the process, all the way through,” said the Chicago native and 24-year veteran of the CPD.
Johnson said both IMCOM and Fort Leonard Wood have done a lot of work to make this program a success, and she hopes this is just the beginning.
“I want everyone to come check it out, and see if it’s something you are interested in,” she said. “The Chicago Police Department is excited to be here, and so are we.”
Call Fort Leonard Wood Transition Services at 573.596.1727, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the upcoming job fair.