JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – Hiring our Heroes hosted a two-day career summit and civilian employment job fair event at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Sept. 19 and 20 that bridged the gap between the military community and civilian employment.
On Sept. 19, military spouses looking for employment and service members preparing to leave military service were invited to a networking reception at American Lake Conference Center on Lewis North where they could acquaint themselves with employers looking to hire and learn insider tips on best interview practices.
On Sept. 20, an informative, career summit took place at Carey Theater on Lewis Main that explained the benefits that veterans take with them after their service and how to build their skills for a successful career as a civilian. Following the summit, a job fair was held inside Hangar 9 on McChord Field where nearly 100 employers were on hand to accept resumes and held interviews on the spot for potential job offers.
The event was organized with the help of the JBLM Transition Services Team at the Hawk Career Center. Anaika Fletcher, Transition Services manager, said the participation at this year’s event was incredible.
“This has been amazing to see so many in the community attending and then to have so many employers participating as well,” Fletcher said. “We are very pleased to be able to offer an event like this to our military community and we hope they are able to take advantage of everything offered to them.”
Agencies from across the state and surrounding states were represented at the event. Mitchel Hahn, a deputy with the Snohomish Sheriff’s Department, was on hand to provide information to veterans considering a career in law enforcement. A veteran himself, Hahn said he wished he had been able to participate in a hiring event before leaving the Marine Corps a few years ago.
“This event is a great idea,” Hahn said. “When I left the service, it was really overwhelming trying to transition into civilian life without any guidance or information, so this is awesome.”
First Lieutenant Brandy Knizat, with the 22nd Corps Signal Brigade, I Corps, said she was impressed by wealth of information provided to her.
“I have a bachelor’s degree in architecture, and while I haven’t really found any firms represented here today to speak with, the information provided throughout the day has been eye-opening,” Knizat said. “I took so many notes. When you’re getting ready to leave (military service) all you think about are the things you’ll be losing, but today they explained all the benefits that veterans have when they leave and that was amazing. I’m very appreciative for this event.”