South Florida job fair helps ‘jump start’ careers for Soldiers and vets
By Cadet Kevin Tipton
164th Air Defense Artillery
West Palm Beach, Fla. (Sept. 13, 2011) — On Sept. 10 the 254th Transportation Battalion hosted a Job Fair that was coordinated by the Office of Congressman Theodore E. Deutch (FL-19) at the James B. Calloway Army Reserve Center in West Palm Beach. The Job Fair was open to the community, yet it focused on linking together currently serving National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers and veterans with prospective employers.
Congressman Deutch and his staff were pleased with the turnout at the event. “This is the first of what I hope will be many events which will soon be replicated across the state”, he said. “It is a privilege help connect those who proudly serve with employers who value their experience and skills.”
Lt. Col. Richard E. Elam, commander of the 254th Transportation Battalion, echoed Congressman Deutch’s comments in lauding the success of the event: “This Job Fair directly supports the goals and intent of Governor Rick Scott and Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw the Adjutant General of Florida, in getting our unemployed Soldiers back to work. We did not have to think twice about hosting this event.”
Elam further stated that “over one hundred currently serving unemployed Soldiers were in attendance at the event and that he hoped this event will serve as a springboard for similar events throughout the state.”
Elam thanked the congressman and his staff – particularly District Director Wendi Lipsich and Legislative Aide Jill Benson – for all their hard work on behalf of the Soldiers and the community.
Sgt. Felicia D. Moore, a Paralegal Specialist assigned to the 254th Transportation Battalion said she thought the event was excellent.
“It’s important to me to help my Soldiers connect with employers that take into account their experience in the private sector as well as in the military. This event has been a perfect catalyst to help jump start their career searches”, said Moore.
She spent the day assisting her peers connect with their new potential employers and was thoroughly impressed with the organization of the event.
“The Congressman and his staff went above and beyond. Their work on our behalf is so very much appreciated,” she said.
At the event, employers and organizations held on-site interviews, networking seminars, and career counseling sessions with the over 260 veterans, Soldiers, and civilians in attendance. Included in the businesses participating were Wackenhut/GS4, Best Buy, AT&T, and Troops to Teachers. Various government agencies such as the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, the Small Business Administration, and educational institutions including Florida Atlantic University and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale were also in attendance. In total 43 employers and vendors canvassed the attendees of the event.
To gauge the substantive effect of the event, Director Lipsich and Maj. Keith Anderson, support operations officer for the 254th Transportation Battalion, are coordinating efforts to track the hiring processes and positive job placements for the attendees of the event. The information gathered will be used to further improve Job Fair models planned for implementation in future events.