News: Career Expo offers guidance on future job path
Story by Pfc. Nikki Phongsisattanak
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Service members ending their time of active duty service have a lot of paths to choose from, whether they follow educational roads or career routes.
Some took the opportunity to map out possible future careers during the Career Exposition sponsored by CareerJobs.com, hosted at Marston Pavilion aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune July 19.
“This is not the usual dog and pony show,” said Vicki Washington, the director with Civilian Jobs and Military Resumes. “There are employers here because they are employing. Any service member planning on getting out needs to start networking and planning to see who’s out there and who’s employing.”
One company hired a few service members on the spot during the exposition recently held at Fort Bragg, added Washington.
Participants arrived dressed and ready for on-the-spot interviews with resumes in hand. More than a dozen companies, departments and organizations spoke to service members, military spouses and base patrons at the function.
“I found out about the event and thought it would be a good idea see what type of careers are available,” said 1st Lt. Matthew B. Bush, a logistics officer with Combat Logistics Regiment 27. “This event is good because it offers both employment and educational opportunities. It’s great to have this exposition on our installation.”
CareerJobs.com hosts their exposition aboard the base twice a year. Vendors at the function were required to have open positions within their organization, noted Washington.
“We have partnered with Joining Forces, which is a Whitehouse initiative backed by the (First Lady Michelle Obama) and (Dr. Jill Biden),” said Washington. “Their initiative is to ensure the service members and the spouses are able to find employment.”
Anybody getting out of the service, whether it’s after three to four years or more than 20, is like anybody else, facing a tough economy and they want to make sure they have a plan to fall back on, continued Washington.
Hosting the job fair on military installations gives services members a venue that is easily accessible. Base participants can stop in during their lunch break if they’re too busy to miss work. Additionally, base patrons don’t have to compete with the local community.
Finding employment at a job fair out in town is a lot more challenging, but troops get first preference on the base, said Washington. Military-friendly employers understand the skills and values service members have and it’s what they’re looking to hire.
“For our line of work, hiring military veterans is a benefit,” said Sgt. Antony C. Wilson, a recruiter with Columbus Ohio Police Department. “They come to us with the military discipline and values, and they also have an understanding of the command structure.”
Employment consultants with North Carolina Department of Commerce were also at the event to aid disabled veterans with finding employment. They contact hundreds of employers annually to create a network and relationship with them.
Service members and spouses found a gamut of opportunities at the fair, from continuing another type of service in law enforcement to becoming an entrepreneur and owning their own business.
“This event is really helpful,” said Pfc. Steven Liscano, an engineer equipment mechanic with 2nd Maintenance Battalion. “They offered a lot of information and it makes planning for a career easier. I don’t feel so left in the dark.”
For more information on this event visit civilianjobnews.com or civilianjobs.com.