A special job fair aimed at getting veterans back to work was held Thursday at EverBank Field.
Recruit Military hosted the job fair to help connect hundreds of veterans with companies wanting to hire those who have served their country.
Recruit Military opens its job fairs to spouses as well because they’ve sacrificed a lot, too. Veterans who already have civilian work experience and those just transitioning from active duty were invited to attend.
The job fair was designed to help heroes who have returned from serving their country resume civilian life with a successful career path.
“It’s been challenging, it’s been very challenging because my skills that I bring apply to multiple positions. I’ve done teaching both in private schools and public schools, and it’s a different environment outside the military than inside the military,” said Jay Patrick.
Patrick served 12 years in the Navy on the enlisted and officer side. For the last two months, he’s been unemployed and searching for work. He hoped to come face-to-face with opportunities at the job fair.
“I’m hoping to make some individual contact so that I’m not just applying online and never hearing anything back,” said Patrick.
Recruit Military organizers said companies looking to specifically hire veterans are the ones that will be at the job fair.
“The veteran community really provides corporate America with a specific niche of raw talent. Talent that’s diverse in leadership, management skills, flexibility and the ability to really drive towards the end state of what the company’s really looking for,” said Stephen Balczo, director of military outreach for Recruit Military.
Balczo said he can relate to other military veterans. He served 29 years in the U.S. Marine Corp.
“Too many of them want to dictate what they were actually assigned not what they accomplished, and HR staff has very little time to look at a resume," Balczo said. "A veteran is best poised for a job if their calculating exactly what they accomplished.”
Patrick said the transition from military life to civilian life will be tough, but he said he will continue his aggressive search for a job to support his family.
“it’s worth the effort to get up and look every single day. It’s hard but OK, there’s a goal in mind and in order to reach that goal some obstacles are going to have to be overcome,” said Patrick.
On Wednesday, Naval Station Mayport will host its Navy Tri-Base Job Fair at the Morocco Shrine Center on St. Johns Bluff Road from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More than 90 businesses will be there. For a full list, click here.