By Erin Murray, Army Flier Staff WriterAugust 24, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 25, 2011) -- More than 2,500 jobseekers arrived at the Enterprise civic center Aug. 17 for the eighth annual Fort Rucker Area Job Fair, handing out resumes and interviewing with 72 local businesses, government contractors and federal agencies.
At the job fair, co-sponsored by Army Community Service Employment Readiness Program and the Enterprise Chamber of Commerce, nearly half of the applicants were active duty, veterans and military Family members.
Maria Beabout, a newly relocated military spouse, felt very positive about the job fair, which was also her first.
"I met a lot of people and found out about companies I didn't know were in the area. There was a fairly wide variety," said Beabout, who noted that Aviation jobs were very well represented. Though she does not have an Aviation background, Beabout said that there were still a lot of opportunities for Fort Rucker spouses.
"I think that the employers want veterans. This is one of the best job fairs I've been to, from set up to visual presentation and opportunities available," said Eric Schwind, a veteran who drove two hours to attend the fair.
There are many reasons why employers at the job fair seek out those with military experience, including their understanding of how things are done on base, said Gloria Sharp, director of human resources at Intermark, which currently holds the food service contract on Fort Rucker.
"Because we service the military, we want to hire veterans. They understand discipline and work ethic as well as the military perspective," said Sharp, who came from Kansas City to represent her company's corporate branch. Like others at the fair, Sharp was excited by the turnout and enthusiasm of local applicants.
"Things went very well. I was pleased with the turnout, quality of applicants and layout of the job fair," said Debbie Gaydos, Army Community Service Employment Readiness Program manager.
Many colleges were also on site, presenting the option of higher education to job seekers who might need help reaching the next phase of their careers. Amy Guyette, a recruiter for Troy University, said continuing education is a unique opportunity for those searching for jobs.
"Job seekers might need classes or additional degrees to get [better] jobs. We give them the competitive edge in the job market," she said.
According to ACS, there have already been many new hires and hundreds of potential hires since the job fair. They will conduct 30, 60, and 90 day follow ups on job placement for all who attended.
Gaydos offered advice about having a competitive edge when attending a job fair or applying for jobs. She encouraged those who might have missed this year's job fair or are still searching to research companies before applying and double check resumes for errors in order to feel confident when applying.
"Maintaining a positive attitude makes a difference," said Gaydos.
For more information about job opportunities and job search tips, call 255-3949.