Fair draws more than 560 job seekers

ACS event featured a variety of local, national employers

Willie Williams, of CECOM, receives an information handout from Border Patrol Agent Gerry Garland, with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, during the Army Community Service Job Fair and Employment Resources Day Expo at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center Aug. 16, 2017. |U.S. Army photo by Rachel Ponder, APG News

More than 560 job seekers from around the region attended the annual Army Community Service Job Fair and Employment Resources Day Expo at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center Aug. 16.

The Army Community Service Employment Readiness Program, the APG Military Personnel Office/Directorate of Human Resources, and the Susquehanna Workforce Network, or SWN presented the three-hour event. It was open to the public and featured more than 60 local and national employers.

ACS Employment Readiness Program Manager Marilyn Howard, who organized the event, said the purpose was to give job seekers of all skill levels the opportunity to have direct interaction with employers.

“I appreciate the partnership APG has with industry representatives, part of my job is networking with the community to gather employment resources and assisting job seekers from various backgrounds including veterans, Soldiers, retirees, civilians, and family members,” she said. “I am inspired by the military community and our family members are quite resilient; given the right tools there’s no task they can’t conquer.”

Vendors promote local job opportunities, resources

Wallace Beal representing the Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake Inc., said GIC offers a variety of paid apprenticeships in areas like coding and programing, graphic design, carpentry and plumbing. For more information, visit http://www.goodwillches.org.

“It’s a good way to get your foot in the door,” Beal said about the apprenticeships.

Beal also promoted the “Helmets to Hardhats” program that offers paid construction apprenticeships to military veterans. For more information, visit www.helmetstohardhats.org.

Terri Kearney, a representative from SWN, said the nonprofit organization offers a variety of free services for job seekers including career assessments, seminars and resume writing assistance. SWN will host the annual Harford County Job Fair on Oct. 12 from noon to 4 p.m. at Ripken Stadium.

“Prior to the job fair they [job seekers] can visit one of our workforce centers to prepare for the event by brushing up on their interviewing skills and preparing their resume,” Kearney said.

According to Kearney, recruiting events are “great practice” for job seekers.

“Everybody at a recruiting event, when they talk to a recruiter they should at least have their resume and their ‘elevator speech’ prepared. In two minutes they can tell the company who they are and why the company should take a look at them and consider hiring them.”

Kim Joyner, with SWN, said the Military Corps Career Connect, provides free career planning, coaching job training programs for transitioning service members, military spouses and recently separated veterans. For more information visit www.militaryC3.org, or contact Joyner at kjoyner@swnetwork.org.

During the event, Aberdeen City Manager Randy Robertson said the City of Aberdeen has a variety of positions available including a civil engineer, procurement officer, plant operator trainee and maintenance worker. For more information, visit http://www.aberdeenwa.gov/human- resources. Robertson gave Howard a City of Aberdeen coin for her efforts during the fair and throughout the year.

We hope to continue to foster that great relationship [with APG],” Robertson said.

Job seekers give feedback

Job seeker Jonathan Raysor, who recently moved to Harford County, called the fair “well organized,” and said he appreciated the variety of technology-based companies like Lockheed Martin, Leidos and Booz Allen Hamilton.

“I like the selection of companies here,” he said. “This fair helps people in this community find fairly high skilled work. You don’t need to commute to Washington D.C. for these jobs, you can find something right here in Harford County.”

Sarah Kim, a new college graduate from Howard County, said she was eager to learn more about jobs in the region.

“It’s really packed, there are a lot of tables,” she said. “I am excited to learn about these companies, to see what positions are out there.”

Freestate ChalleNGe Academy Cadet David Post, from Havre de Grace, attended the event with his classmates. Post, who is interested in law enforcement, spoke with several police officers about job opportunities.

“I think this job fair is a good program, it helps people out a lot,” he said. “It’s very educational.”

For more information

For more information about employment or resources, contact Howard at 410-278-9669.