Even before the latest unemployment rates were released, the staff at the U.S. Army Garrison Army Career and Alumni Program and Army Community Service knew people would be looking for jobs. To help show people options available to them, the ACAP and ACS staffs hosted a job fair Nov. 5 at The Commons at Fort McPherson.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., attendees, which included members of the military and surrounding communities, interacted and mingled with representatives from 45 companies.

James Scarborough, ACAP transition services manager, said companies were selected based on the demographics within the community.

"We try to have a mix of employers," he said. "There's a lot of different demographics here, but we try to cover them all."

By partnering with ACS, two main demographics are covered, Scarborough said. ACAP, he said, is mainly concerned with transitioning Soldiers and their Families, while ACS is concerned with military spouses. The two organizations search for employers looking to hire people from these groups.

Kelly Swann, a corporate education liaison for Kaplan University, said her company was looking for qualified individuals to become teachers and believed they could be found in the military community.

She said her company is a good fit for Soldiers.

"We have lots of discounted rates for military members: 37 percent for veterans, 53 percent for active duty (Soldiers)," she said. "The G.I. Bill can bridge the gap."
Swann also mentioned that due to Kaplan's online status, it is a good option for Soldiers who might be moving or deployed.

Michelle Dawson, a house wife, had her own agenda on her mind - a desire to re-enter the work place.

"I want to get back into the workforce, want to open my own business," she said.
Dawson said she enjoys cooking and baking, a passion shared with her husband, Douglas Stinson, Woodword Academy reduction manager. She said she received a lot of good information to pursue her dream from the Small Business Association's booth at the fair.

Accompanying Dawson was her brother-in-law's daughter, Santrice Poole. Poole is a student at Sanford Brown College and the daughter of retired Master Sgt. Charles Poole Sr.

"I'm looking for a career. I graduate next year in June," she said. "I talked with all the representatives and found some good opportunities here."

To help people continue to find good opportunities, job fairs such as this are held quarterly by the ACAP and ACS staff, Scarborough said.

"There's no charge and there are some (businesses) that really want to have people in these demographics," he said.