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Fort Bliss holds job fair for Soldiers and family members

A Soldier speaks to a representative from the Federal Bureau of Prisons during the job fair held at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center here Feb. 9. Photos by Pfc. Frederick Connelly, 1st AD Public Affairs.

A Soldier speaks to a representative from the Federal Bureau of Prisons during the job fair held at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center here Feb. 9. Photos by Pfc. Frederick Connelly, 1st AD Public Affairs.

By Pfc. Frederick Connelly, 1st Armored Division Public Affairs:

(El Paso, Texas, Feb. 16, 2017) Whether you are a private, a sergeant major or even a general serving in the Army, at some point you are going to separate back to civilian life. When that time comes, it’s essential to have a plan. To assist Soldiers and their family members in finding work, Fort Bliss officials hosted a job fair at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center here Feb. 9.

“Preparation is the key, whether you’re a Soldier or a military spouse,” said Deana Garcia, manager of Army Community Service’s Employment Readiness Program and an organizer of the event. “Knowing what employers are out there and what vacancies they have, that is crucial to any job search.”

Hundreds of people gather to take part in the job fair held at the Fort Bliss Centennial Banquet and Conference Center here Feb. 9.

Hundreds of people gather to take part in the job fair held at the Fort Bliss Centennial Banquet and Conference Center here Feb. 9.

The job fair, which was open to all active duty service members, family members, retirees and Department of Defense identification card holders, went on from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and featured more than 70 companies. They ranged from local employers such as the Phoenix Truck Driving School, to federal employers such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Although some of the companies at the job fair varied greatly, one thing was common among them all: they wanted to help Soldiers and their families find work.

“We just want to show our support, you guys do so much for us so we just want to give back to the community and to you guys as well,” said Stephanie Anaya, an administrative assistant with Tallent Roofing. “We are also contracted through USAA so a lot of our clients are military, and we just feel that it’s best to go out there and help, just like you all do for us.”

Throughout the fair, those who attended got to speak directly to representatives from companies with similar outlooks as Tallent Roofing. Representatives wanted to help Soldiers and their families find work and to gain a better understanding of what companies are looking for in potential employees. One Soldier who enjoyed the directness of speaking to companies face to face was Staff Sgt. Marcus Richardson, 2nd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

“I think this is a great thing, especially for transitioning Soldiers, to be able to come here and be face to face with people that are hiring, and I think it’s a good thing for the community because it’s showing these companies support for veterans and Soldiers transitioning out,” Richardson said. “I think they’re great. There is a huge diversity of organizations here, so that will pretty much meet all Soldiers’ requirements, regardless of (military occupational specialty).”

Lauren Decoster, a military spouse, also found the event beneficial.

“I am very appreciative that it is here,” Decoster said. “I’ve had a lot of trouble finding work since I’ve been here. Everything here seems like something that I have the opportunity to actually obtain.”

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