• Virtual job fairs aimed at deployed Guard troops

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    The Kansas and Missouri Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and Workforce Development is sponsoring the 35th Infantry Division Veterans Virtual Job Fair for soldiers and their family members Jan. 23 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. throughout Kansas and Missouri, 4:30-7:30 p.m. in Jordan, and 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Kuwait.
    The time allows soldiers currently deployed to participate in the job fair after duty hours, said Col. Chris Mickan, 35th ID chief of staff.
    “It’s similar in content to the in-person job fair, but sets the stage for soldiers to find employment before they return, with little to no gap in employment,” Mickan said. “It has the same benefits, but seems to draw more attention due to the soldiers’ and families’ situation.”
    The 35th ID conducted a virtual fair Jan. 11, which Mickan said was a success.
    “We had a good response. The employers started by telling their story and covered available jobs,” Mickan said. “This opened up a good dialogue between employers and attendees to talk skills, benefits, training, (and) similarities between military and civilian jobs.”
    In the months leading up to the fair, the 35th ID provided training on work skills, resume building, interview skills and Dress for Success seminars. The idea for the virtual job fair came after the 35th ID received feedback from soldiers via a survey.
    “We found out we had 62 underemployed and 24 unemployed soldiers,” Mickan said. “That set the stage on how we searched for employers that were in the multiple region with jobs that met the interests of the soldiers and families.”
    The virtual job fair currently has six live employers scheduled — Missouri Department of Corrections from 8:30-9 a.m.; Nestle Purina from 9-9:30 a.m.; Children’s Mercy Hospital from 9:30-10 a.m.; the City of Overland Park from 10-10:30 a.m.; Waste Management from 10:30-11 a.m.; and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office from 11-11:30 a.m. — with 56 companies providing recorded messages including Walmart, Sears, Country Club Bank and Washburn University. Employers will cover benefits, job locations, the specifics of each job and any job qualifications including if online training or testing is required.
    “The web-based system has multiple connection options,” Mickan said. “The employer has the option to talk while the followers respond by text or talk. It has a live webcam option that can be linked by one or multiple webcams. The system is Internet web-based and can be connected by computer or mobile smart phone. Each event can be recorded and a link can be provided for future review.”
    Participants can either join the virtual fair by visiting http://modwd.adobeconnect.com/vetafgan1/ by smart phone via the Adobe Connect Mobile Application, or by directly calling (877) 820-7831, using access code 35666479.
    Page 2 of 2 - For more information, contact Gary Jensen, Missouri Department of Economic Development, at (573) 522-6782 or e-mail gary.jensen@ded.mo.gov; LaMont Brown, workforce development industry training specialist, at (573) 526-8217 or e-mail lamont.brown@ded.mo.gov; Shams Chughtai, veterans program manager, at (573) 526-9762 or e-mail shams.chughtai@ded.mo .gov; Paul Swanson, Kansas ESGR volunteer support technician, at (785) 646-1559 or e-mail paul.a.swanson10.ctr@mail.mil; Michelle Marzetta, Kansas program support specialist, at (785) 646-1556 or e-mail michelle.a.marzetta.ctr@mail.mil; or Erick Turley, Missouri program support specialist, at (573) 638-9500 ext. 37730 or e-mail erick.d.turley.ctr@mail.mil.
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