News: Career Expo offers employment for service members
Story by Pfc. Nikki Phongsisattanak
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- When service members are near the end their military career, finding employment is a common goal for many, and many have no idea where to look. Luckily, there are companies looking for them.
More than 500 military patrons consisting of service members, retirees, veterans and military spouses attended the Career Expo hosted by Job Fair Operations with CivilianJobs.com, at Marston Pavilion aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, July 28.
The event was the first Career Expo held by CivilianJobs.com aboard MCB Camp Lejeune. At 10 a.m., vehicles filled the pavilion’s parking lot and more than 290 patrons checked in within the first 55 minutes of the event.
Pre-registration was available online for military members or at the event location. However, veterans who were non-military identification cardholders had to pre-register for the job fair 14 days prior to the event in order to be placed on the base roster.
There were 26 employers registered for the event, all with open positions within their company. Employers were required to have vacancy within their company to register. Even the colleges and universities that participate are asked to promote their job opening in order to take part in the event.
“Our employers are military friendly,” said Vicki Washington, director of Job Fair Operations with CivilianJobs.com. “They are looking specifically to hire people with military skills, so they target service members, retirees and veterans.”
About 96 percent of the job fairs hosted by their company take place on military installations. According to Washington, they have gone to every military service except for the U.S. Coast Guard.
“We do (career expos) at military installations to limit who has access to the event,” said Washington. “That way, (service member don’t) have to compete with their civilian counterparts. The employers want to see military members. They like the disciplined approach, the ability to follow direction and the skills that service members already have, so they don’t have to train them.”
Service members may be so focused on their careers during their enlistment, that it is likely that many of them have never looked for another place of employment until the end of their service.
“I heard about the event through the education center,” said 1st Sgt. Kyle J. Franklin, Company B first sergeant with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. “This is the first career expo I’ve been to and I thought it was good. Everyone seems to be pretty eager to take what it is that every employer out here has to offer. It makes me feel comfortable to know that there are employers looking to hire veterans, especially with the fact that I’m retiring soon.”
CivilianJobs.com hosted 32 job fairs across the nation for transitioning service members and veterans last year and they plan on increasing that number to 36 events next year. The next CivilianJobs.com Career Expo at MCB Camp Lejeune is planned for July 24, 2012.
For more information on this event, visit www.CivilianJobs.com or call 1-678-819-4132.