By Mr. Kevin Stabinsky (IMCOM)January 28, 2011
When Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem close their gates in September due to BRAC, many people will be left without jobs.
To make sure no Civilian employee or Soldier gets left behind, Fort McPherson hosted a federal agency job fair Jan. 20 at The Commons on Fort McPherson.
While the installation has held several job fairs in the past, the Jan. 20 fair was unique in that it only highlighted Atlanta-based federal agencies currently hiring, said James Scarborough, transition service manager, Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP).
"This is the first time we've invited only federal agencies," Scarborough said, adding the reason behind only bringing in federal agencies was that sometimes federal employees don't want to go anywhere other than another federal job.
Attendees at the event got to interact with representatives from 11 different agencies, talking with them about what type of positions they had and how to apply for them.
Stephanie White, regional recruitment coordinator, Social Security Agency (SSA), Atlanta regional office, said she hoped to use the opportunity to educate people about the different openings within the agency.
White said SSA currently employs 66,000 people, with offices in almost all cities, and are always hiring. "We hired 700 people last year, 1,100 two years ago, and will be doing more hiring this year," she said, noting upcoming expansions in cities like Jackson, Tenn., will create more than 100 jobs in the organization for those willing to move.
Most of the jobs offered were for the Atlanta area cater to people not wanting to relocate.
A secondary goal of the event was to show people that are were plenty of jobs available.
"We hope to widen people's visibility of federal agencies in Atlanta area and increase their chances of getting a job," said Barbara Schwartz, director of the U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) directorate of Human Resources, noting there are 92 federal agencies in the area.
Although Scarborough said he wanted to have 20 of these agencies represented, due to hiring freezes and the winter weather during the week of Jan. 10 through 14, only 11 were present.
Still, for those Civilian employees and transitioning Soldiers in attendance, the job fair was a good chance to explore opportunities.
Sgt. Ntemie Corts, supply sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 92nd Chemical Battalion, Decatur, said she is transitioning out of the Army later this year. "I'm just looking to get my foot in the door," she said. "I've been talking with people and getting experience networking."
Fellow Soldiers Sgt. 1st Class Abigail Hutchinson, human resource sergeant, Equal Opportunity Office, Third Army, and Master Sgt. Fatemba Kyler, human resource supervisor, Third Army, both retiring, also found the fair a good place to look for jobs in their new civilian life. "There are lots of benefits if you stick with the federal government," Hutchinson said. "A lot of employers have better relations with military and a lot of the work they do is the same." Kyler agreed, adding because of the similarities between the Army and many federal agencies, it would make transition to civilian life easier.
Roughly 400 people attended the event, a success said Scarborough, who hoped to have at least 300 attend.