Hiring fairs boost vets’ success in finding new careers Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 October 2014
Story by Melissa Buckley
GUIDON staff
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Fort Leonard Wood service members transitioning out of the military are getting civilian jobs by coming face-to-face with employers at hiring events.    

“The hiring events are a part of the Soldier For Life Transition Assistance Program. They are an excellent method of connecting job seekers to employers who are hiring or plan to hire in the near future,” said Beverly Rowe, Transition Services manager.

Employers at the hiring events are conducting interviews on the spot. More than 115 follow-up interviews were scheduled, as a result of the last hiring fair, according to Rowe.

“I was notified this week of a retired Soldier who was selected for employment as a result of the June hiring fair. Several employers send out recruiters to hiring events, instead of the selecting officials. I know of recent applicants who had two follow-up interviews plus a background check before being selected for employment,” Rowe said.

Timothy Gray, a retired Army sergeant major, said he was hired as a result of one of the hiring fairs.

He is now a financial advisor for First Command Financial Planning.  

“While attending a job fair, I met with Mark Timko from First Command, and he set up an interview with the district advisor,” Gray said. I had several more interviews and shortly thereafter began the licensing process for my (financial securities license) and Texas Life and Health Insurance license.”

Gray said attending the Transition Assistance Program briefings prior to the hiring event helped him be more prepared for the interview process.

He had some advice for service members who are transition out of the military.

“Start using the (Soldier for Life) program 24 months from your scheduled separation date and attend some briefings. It works and can make the transition process a lot smoother,” Gray said.

Before retirement, Gray said he changed his military occupational specialty from a utility equipment repairer to career counseling.

“That was one of the best decisions I made for my transition from the Army. Completing my associate and bachelor degrees made it possible to have an interview. Most of the skill sets, especially leadership, will be very helpful to a Soldier when seeking employment,” he added.

Gray said his Army career benefits his civilian one.

“My 26-year career in the Army remains a very important time in my life and each hurdle and success paved the way for who I am today and what I have become,” Gray said.

Another Soldier, retired Staff Sgt. Glen Roussin, found his current job at a hiring event.

He said the Transition Assistance, and Soldier for Life programs were key to finding his civilian profession.

“You can tremendously improve or brush up on your skill sets and strategies in looking for employment outside the military. I did have a civilian background prior to coming active duty; however, after 10 years of Army life, your mindset and talk becomes Army and all about the Army. I had to develop those skills and learn to transition my language to those outside the military,” Roussin said.        

 Roussin said looking for a job can be frustrating, but the Soldier for Life program can help.

“Every job I applied for, I prayed over it. Eventually, there was an answer. I applied for employment way back in July, just a couple weeks after I officially retired from the Army, with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for environmental specialist. It wasn’t until August that I finally got an answer for an interview. I went to the interview and using the skills and strategies that I learned from ACAP and other transitioning classes, I left feeling confident,” Roussin said.

It was just last week, that he received a call from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources that he was hired.

“First thing out of my mouth was, praise the Lord. And now, I begin work on the first part of November,” Roussin said. “So, don’t give up and keep the faith. Perseverance and patience pays off at the end of the game.”

The next hiring fair is scheduled for Feb. 5, 2015.

“We are in the process of preparing a pre-employment event orientation seminar. Topics which will be included will be resume review, interviewing techniques, dressing for success, researching companies and having a plan of action before attending the employment event,” Rowe said.

For more information call the Soldier For Life, Transition Assistance Program at 573.596.0175.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 November 2014 )