Job Fair Planned for Wounded Troops, Spouses
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 13, 2005 Severely wounded servicemembers and all military spouses are encouraged to attend a "Hiring Heroes Career Fair" Sept. 20 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to explore job opportunities in the federal government and private sector.
The fair, similar to one held earlier this year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here, represents one of many steps the Defense Department is taking to help wounded troops transition to productive, satisfying civilian careers, Mark Smith from the Defense Civilian Personnel Management Service told the American Forces Press Service.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has expressed the department's continued commitment to taking care of wounded troops and easing their transition to civilian life, and helping them find jobs is an important step in that effort, Smith said.
"If we can't find them a job in DoD, we'll try to find one within the federal government, and if we can't do that, we'll look to the private sector," Smith said. "Our bottom line is to get them employed and transition them back to civilian life as quickly and painlessly as possible."
The Sept. 20 career fair will provide injured troops as well as military spouses an opportunity to connect directly with recruiting representatives from the Defense Department and other federal agencies, as well as private industry, Smith said.
In addition to getting the chance to network with civilian and private-industry recruiters, participants will be able to gather information about job opportunities and learn about the variety of special employment and training programs available to them.
The career fair will feature workshops in resume writing and online job-search techniques, Smith said. In addition, demonstrations of workplace computer and electronic devices to accommodate workers with disabilities will be featured, as well as discussions with representatives from special programs developed for injured servicemembers.
Among special programs to be represented are the Rehabilitative Assignments Program for Wounded Service Members, the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program, the Military Severely Injured Center and the Army's Always a Soldier program.
The Defense Applicant Assistance Office, Brooke Army Medical Center, the Military Severely Injured Center and Monster.com are jointly sponsoring the event, to be held in the Fort Sam Houston Army Community Service Center.
For severely injured servicemembers, hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and for military spouses, 1 to 4 p.m. More than 300 severely injured servicemembers and their spouses attended a similar event in April at Walter Reed. Smith called that event "a resounding success" that resulted in permanent job placements for 25 servicemembers.
Plans are under way in the Defense Applicant Assistance Office to hold similar events at various other military medical centers around the country, Smith said.
For more information about the Fort Sam Houston event or other DoD-sponsored recruiting events, visit the "Civilians Working for National Defense" Web site or call (888) DOD-4USA (363-4872). The TTY number for the deaf or hard of hearing is (703) 696-5436.