• Job fair vendors seek military talent, experience

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program sponsored the 62nd Fort Leavenworth Job and Education Fair Nov. 7 at the Frontier Conference Center. The fair had 95 vendors representing employers and educational institutions.
    “The companies that attend want people who have a military mindset when it comes to work,” said Brett Rosene, transition services manager. “Veterans have proven their ability to be part of a team, have demonstrated their loyalty and commitment to the mission, have been instilled with responsibility and discipline, and are taught to think on their feet.”
    SFL-TAP trains soldiers on resumé writing, interviewing techniques, salary negotiation, researching employers and salary, networking skills and using social media. Soldiers also have opportunities to attend dress-for-success seminars, LinkedIn seminars, seminars on how to create a personal image or brand, and workplace communication in an attempt to help them find jobs.
    “Our Department of Labor workshop explains how attending a job fair is more of a networking event than it is a getting a job event. It’s an introduction between the vendor and the job seeker and allows the job seeker to get a better feeling on what employers are looking for,” Rosene said. “The job fair brings a myriad of different disciplines together under one roof. It brings a wide variety of options, including education options, together so the soldier can talk to them all while they’re here.”
    Rosene said the training Fort Leavenworth gives soldiers has helped attract more vendors to the event limiting the number of vendors who can participate.
    “Companies are learning about the talent we have here on Fort Leavenworth and their experience, and word of mouth has made this a very popular event for Kansas City-area businesses,” he said. “We have more and more vendors that want to participate after each event.”
    Vendors gave different reasons for wanting to hire transitioning military.
    “They already have the (security) clearance and they have the experience working on the military equipment that we build,” said Mark Copas of L-3 Technologies.
    Lindsey Hammer and Sasha Townsend of Cerner said they were looking for the leadership and perspective of transitioning soldiers.
    “We are really looking to bring on veterans to bring a whole new perspective into the workforce,” Hammer said.
    “They always make great associates. We’ve hired a lot of them into a lot of different positions,” Townsend said. “Their leadership skills really correlate well into our company culture.”
    April Beretta of the city of Lenexa said she wanted to help make the soldier’s transition into the civilian world easier.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Giving them the career opportunity as they transition from the military into public service is why we’re here,” Beretta said. “It would help them transition into the community and serving other people.”
    Capt. Stephanie Rodriguez, Medical Depart- ment Activity who will be transitioning out in April 2018, said that she found the job fair beneficial in her preparation.
    “I hope that I’m working in the health care arena and that I’m able to put my skills into action by helping the organization that I work for,” Rodriguez said. “I think (the job fair) is great and that every soldier should take advantage of this.”
    Rodriguez said SFL-TAP helped her prepare for the event.
    “(SFL-TAP has helped) by providing me with resources through books and people in order to develop my resumé and making sure I record my skills and what I bring to the table,” Rodriguez said.
    Maj. Jason Hite, Mission Command Capability Development Integration Directorate, who will transition in October 2018, said the fair did well at targeting certain companies that are looking for the skills soldiers have.
    “This one, unlike previous ones, is a little more targeted toward certain companies,” Hite said. “Now that I kind of understand the area that I want to go into, I understand what the companies are looking for and which companies are looking for my skills.”
    Rosene said the events have grown and seem to have gotten better every time, however, FMWR and SFL-TAP are always looking for ways to improve it.
    “Next year we will have a photographer to do LinkedIn photos, we will continue to refine vendors to meet our installation’s needs, and we are looking at holding some workshops and training in conjunction with the event,” he said.
    The next FMWR and SFL-TAP Job and Education Fair is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 10 at the Frontier Conference Center. SFL-TAP is also partnering with the American Legion for a Job and Education Fair Jan. 24 at the American Legion post in Olathe, Kan.
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