Hundreds Turn Out For Veterans Job Fair

Tuesday, July 17th 2012, 6:37 pm
By: Craig Day

Hundreds of people turned out for a job fair at the MidAmerica Expo Center in Pryor Tuesday.

Getting a job in the still struggling economy can be tough.

It's even harder for many veterans returning from deployment and active duty and trying to get back into the work force.

But Tuesday's job fair was specifically designed to get veterans back to work here on the home front.

7/16/2012 Related Story: Veterans Job Fair Scheduled At Pryor's MidAmerica Expo Center

Samuel Lord is a father of four who just got out of the Navy in January.

In his Naval career he's seen the Persian Gulf, South America, and he's patrolled for pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Now his sights are set on finding a job back home.

Lord said he wanted to, "Find something that is not going to take up every bit of my time, so I can spend time with my kids and stuff now."

After his military career, Lord returned home to Chouteau.

He said the transition back into civilian life has been tough.

"Scraping by—every month you're just scraping to get bills, and in the military you didn't have to do that," Lord said.

The transition is hard for many veterans, so the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission organized a job fair just for veterans.

"So much pressure while they're in the military, it is quite a task for them to have to start looking for a job," said Marsha Cunningham, of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

Several hundred veterans, Tuesday, got a chance to get information from 39 exhibitors, 22 of which had job openings right now.

"Hopefully some job offers are being made," Cunningham said.

The others were Universities and government agencies that serve the needs of veterans.

"They have excellent work ethics, they're reliable and have good skills," Cunningham said.

Having them all together in one location makes it easier for veterans trying to find good jobs and to figure out their futures.

A virtual job fair for veterans is set for August, where employers will set up on the web.

Veterans will be able to apply online with the participating companies, and there will be an online chat available with potential employers.

We'll provide the information for that event, as soon as it is released.