Fayetteville job fair aims to help veterans find work - WNCN: News, Weather

Fayetteville job fair aims to help veterans find work

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Dozens of employers met with hundreds of veterans Monday at a job fair in Fayetteville specifically targeted toward veterans.

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) organized the "Recruit-A-Vet" job fair. According to her staff more than 300 veterans and active duty soldiers participated in the career fair with more than 50 businesses from across the Fayetteville area.

"It looks promising," commented veteran James Webb after attending the fair.

He has been unemployed for nearly a year, but a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says there is good reason to be hopeful. While veterans have had higher than average unemployment rates for more than a decade, this year the unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans improved and is now level with the national average.

Some experts credit companies making more of an effort to hire veterans. Several at this job fair say veteran recruiting is a top priority.

Companies like Volt staffing say they need employees with military connections. So they came from Raleigh to find veterans at the job fair.

The Fayetteville Police Department is another example. They've established a close working relationship with Fort Bragg to create a smooth transition for any soldier interested in law enforcement.

The Veterans Affairs medical center also hires a lot of veterans. Michael Fuller in the human resources department say it's part of a focused effort.

"We're looking for veterans because that's part of our mission is to hire veterans to service our community," explained Michael Fuller with the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville. "We want the veterans to know we do appreciate their service to our nation and by more and more vendors being a part of that it helps them to feel better about their opportunities to transition back into the community."

However, the report says those efforts haven't helped women and older veterans as much. Webb believes it will take even more companies prioritizing vets to make a real difference in the Fayetteville area.

"It's very competitive because in Fayetteville and the surrounding area it's saturated with prior service veterans."

So while he is seeing some new job opportunities, his optimism is measured.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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