By Russell Sellers, Army Flier StaffNovember 12, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Soldiers, veterans and Family members looking for work had an opportunity to meet with several companies here Nov. 4.
The Noncommissioned Officers Association and Military.com staff hosted a Career Expo at The Landing for the first time. The free event was open to active-duty, retired military members and their Families.
NCOA staff hosts many career expos across the country each year, according to Clifford Davis, NCOA executive director. He said having the opportunity to host an event here was beneficial for both retired and active-duty veterans and their Families.
"NCOA leads one of the largest veteran's assistance programs in America," he said.
All companies who sent representatives had job openings, which was a vital part of making the expo effective, Davis said.
"It's possible to be hired on the spot at our expos," Davis said. "Nobody here is just collecting rAfAsumAfAs. If a company shows up, they have positions open and are seriously looking for people to hire."
The Army Career Alumni Program co-hosted the event, said Bryan Tharpe, Fort Rucker ACAP Transition Services manager.
"We're always happy to help (military) friendly organizations like NCOA," Tharpe said. "This is a great event for those in the military Family who are looking for work."
Tharpe said another benefit to events like the expo is it gives people a chance to make new contacts.
"I'm not sure how many will get jobs after this, but networking can be very beneficial," he said. "A lot of the company representatives here know each other and even trade rAfAsumAfAs sometimes, so it could lead to something if someone leaves their information with them."
Some retired servicemembers made long treks to the event. One Lake Charles, La., couple said they hoped to find work in the same place, if possible.
"I currently have a job, but I'm hoping I can find something better here," said James Baxter, retired Air Force senior master sergeant. "I'm hoping I'll get something out of this."
Baxter and his wife, Delta, made a 10-hour drive because they had heard how successful past expos had been and they hoped it would be that way for them.
Some Soldiers preparing for retirement attended the event in hopes of making the transition to civilian life easier by finding work before they leave the military.
"I'm looking at a few different options right now," said CW4 Matt Wellinghurst, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment safety officer. "I'm hoping to stay in an Aviation field, but I'm looking into a few master's degree programs, too."