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Hiring Event Connects Companies and Military Personnel

CareerTech and other agencies will hold a military hiring event in Stillwater in November.
Hiring Event Connects Companies and Military Personnel

Military personnel preparing for separation from active service, Guard and Reserve members and veterans sign in at the June military hiring event at Fort Sill.

Oct. 15, 2013

A visit earlier this year to Fort Sill led Illinois residents and military veterans Marcus and Laura Powell to Oklahoma CareerTech’s military hiring event, new jobs and a new home.

The couple was visiting Fort Sill to see if they wanted to live in the area with their three children, Laura Powell said. They picked up the post newspaper, saw an advertisement for the hiring event sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and six other entities, updated their resumes and attended – and each of them got a new job out of it.

Marcus Powell, who served for 10 years in the Iowa Army National Guard and deployed to Iraq in 2003, started his new job at Southwestern Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Manitou in September after having been unemployed for 20 months, his wife said.

Laura Powell, who served 25.5 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and Iowa Army National Guard and retired in March, interviewed at the fair with The GEO Group Inc., which operates the Lawton Correctional Facility. In September, the company offered her a job.

“It was by far the best job fair that we have ever been to. We couldn’t believe the number of vendors who were present and how helpful they were,” she said. “They welcomed us with open arms and seemed most eager to interview us and/or offer us a job.”

Oklahoma’s military-affiliated residents looking for employment and companies looking for employees will get the same chance to connect at a hiring event in Stillwater in November.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, along with five other entities, will hold the hiring event Nov. 7 at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater. In addition to ODCTE and Meridian Technology Center, other sponsors are Oklahoma State University, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and the Oklahoma National Guard Employment Coordination Program.

Military personnel preparing for separation from active service, Guard and Reserve members and veterans will be able to meet with participating employers who have jobs to fill. The employers will conduct preliminary interviews at the event.

A similar event in June at Fort Sill drew 334 individuals, 62 companies and six veteran service organizations. Companies conducted more than 173 interviews as a direct result of the event and made 63 job offers.

“Most companies have told us that this was the best event that they have attended and have asked to be invited to the next event,” said Levi Valdois, CareerTech military liaison and coordinator of military initiatives, after the event.

The hiring event in Stillwater will be a little different. It will be open only to military-related job seekers from 10:30 a.m. to noon, but from noon to 2:30 p.m., it will be open to anyone looking for a career, including those with military affiliations.

Those with military affiliations planning to attend the event should preregister and provide their career objectives and job skills so they can be matched with employers looking for workers like them. Others planning to attend in the afternoon do not need to preregister.

The hiring event will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Industrial Development Center at Meridian Technology Center, 1312 S. Sangre Road, Stillwater. Military personnel preparing for separation from active service, Guard and Reserve members and veterans can register at https://secure.jotformpro.com/okcareertech/okmilitaryjobseeker. Employers can register at https://secure.jotformpro.com/okcareertech/okmilitaryemployer.

For more information, visit www.OkMilitaryConnection.com or contact Valdois at 743-5573 or lvald@okcareertech.org or Bobby Bryant, OESC local veterans’ employment representative, at 624-1450 or Bobby.Bryant@oesc.state.ok.us.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 57 campuses, 393 comprehensive school districts and 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

By Laura Wilson, writer/editor