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NEWS | Sept. 27, 2012

Hiring Heroes Career Fair connects military to employers

By Deyanira Romo Rossell 502nd FSS Marketing

Retired and active duty veterans, wounded warriors and military dependents revved up their job search at the Hiring Heroes Career Fair Sept. 18, taking advantage of 43 employers who were accepting resumes at the Sam Houston Community Center.

Nearly 600 job-seekers made their way through the five-hour career fair which has been held biannually since 2006.

Brig. Gen. Theresa C. Carter, commander of the 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio, joined Paige Hinkle-Bowles, deputy assistant secretary of defense for civilian personnel policy, to welcome the crowd.

"I have talked with the employers. They have shown great enthusiasm and are very grateful for this event and the opportunity to connect with service members and their families," said Hinkle- Bowles.

The job-seekers were also thankful to have a job fair so convenient to their workplace. Capt. Lamar Sales spent some time talking with Robert Clarke, a human resources advisor with BP.

"This is a great opportunity. We are very often offered the perfect opportunities," said Sales, who is with Company B, Warrior Transition Battalion. "We just have to go to them. The networking is huge here and we don't even have to leave the base."

It is Soldiers like Sales that draw employers like the Texas Department of Public Safety to the Hiring Heroes Career Fair. They recruit heavily from the United States military.

DPS Cpl. Arminda Henke spent the day talking to service members to fill them in on how to get hired as a state trooper.

"It's wonderful to be here because more than 60 percent of our force is former military," she said. "We seek out military and their dependents because they have the structure and meet the qualifications we are looking for," Henke added.

She quickly let visitors to her table know that with the DPS there are no age limits and that the sky's the limit.

Spc. Hector Santacruz, Company C, WTB, spent some time talking to John Brown, division manager with the City of Houston Public Works and Engineering Office.

Santacruz has been going through a long rehabilitation process and is ready to find a good job, using his background as a mechanic.

"I like that there are a lot of opportunities for wounded warriors," Santacruz said. "This gives me some options as I try to figure out where to go from here.

The next Hiring Heroes Career Fair is in March 2013.