Every room at Fort Hood’s Club Hood was filled to capacity Tuesday.
Thousands of soldiers, airmen, veterans, civilians and family members rubbed elbows and tried to squeeze past one another, all vying to get information from the 190 businesses and organizations attending the biannual Mega Career Fair hosted by the post’s Soldier for Life/Transition Assistance Program.
“Our transition tempo here at Fort Hood is so high, we really need to have these as often as we can,” said Robert Schumacher, Transition Assistance Program marketing coordinator. “Because it’s such a large event, though, you can only do it twice a year.”
The Mega Career Fairs are usually held in January and June, peak times when soldiers begin transitioning to civilian life, he said. Job fairs such as these give those service members — and anyone else with access to post who want to attend — the chance to meet face-to-face with potential employers, making it more likely to receive another face-to-face meeting in the future when it comes time to getting hired.
“They get to ask questions about the company, where they are, what they are doing, how do I apply,” Schumacher said. “You should take advantage of that. The first thing I would tell someone is, we don’t want anyone applying for a job that pays less than $12 an hour.”
Companies represented at the fair included law enforcement agencies from across the nation and even the U.S. Secret Service. Airlines, trucking companies, logistics companies, oil field companies and even Space X attended in the hopes of attracting the nation’s best and brightest.
“I’m just here to see what my options are when it comes time for me to transition out,” said Master Sgt. Torres Carr, a soldier with 3rd Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division who is preparing to submit his retirement package. “Coming here will give me an idea of what I’m looking for, what career field I might possibly want to go into.”
Fairs such as the Mega Career Fair provide a huge opportunity to soldiers, he said.
“(Soldiers) actually get a chance to see that there is life after the Army,” Carr said. “There are jobs out there ... they can still support their families and make a difference.”
Each of the biannual fairs draws between 3,500 and 5,000 job seekers, Schumacher said. Between the 190 companies who attended, up to 100,000 jobs were potentially available.
“Some of them have as many as 20,000 job openings,” he said. “We have large companies who are here with international operations ... they are always hiring. If I had to ballpark it, there is no less than 100,000 job offers here right now, and it’s probably way north of that.”
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