Job fair Tuesday for Veteran job seekers

11:24 AM, Jan 24, 2012   |    comments
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Several local business groups are helping East Tennessee veterans figure out how to turn their military training into a civil paycheck.

145 employers and schools set up booths at the Knoxville Convention Center for Tuesday's Veterans' Job Fair.

Organizer Jonathan Williams said the event has taken off in it's second year.

He said last year they sold 100 booths. This year they had to end registration early when they maxed out at 145.

Williams estimates about 2,000 Veterans and employers will attend the event from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Dave Hayner set up his businesses booth early Monday afternoon.

The Gulf War Veteran started Veterans Contracting Solutions Group three years ago, after spending 12 years in the Army Reserve.

"I'm hopeful to find some new employees tomorrow," said Hayner. He's hoping to fill a building site superintendent's position, as well as several laborers and heavy machinery operators.

He said he's a "Veterans preferred hirer," because he knows the value of military training first hand.

"The skills that I need for my superintendent position, I maintain the military does a better job than anyone can do for training leaders," said Hayner.

However, he said it can be difficult for vets to connect in to the civilian world.

"The way people who are in the military talk, the way they conduct themselves, isn't always the smoothest transition during a job interview," said Hayner.

He hopes job seekers will leave the event with a better understand of how to apply their skills in civilian life. He said it's also a great opportunity for Veteran-owned businesses to network.

NBC is one of the event's supporters, in conjunction with the US Chamber of Commerce, Department of Labor, and the American Legion.

The job fair is at the Knoxville Convention Center in Ballroom A.

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