At the Texas Workforce Commission’s Hiring Red, White and You job fair in San Antonio last week, veterans, transitioning military personnel and their spouses found themselves in high demand by local and national employers.
The fair was part of a statewide, day-after-Veterans-Day hiring event at 27 locations. In San Antonio, the fair drew 125 companies and hundreds of candidates.
“It’s huge,” Gail Hathaway, executive director of Workforce Solutions Alamo, told the San Antonio Express-News. “[Companies] see the value in the venue and the number of individuals that they get to meet with or talk with,” Hathaway said.
Employers interviewed at the fair said they came to hire individuals with a strong work ethic, an ability to work as part of a team and a diverse skill set.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) appeared at the fair and said the city was a role model for linking transitioning military service members with successful civilian careers. “Yesterday’s a day when we thanked the veterans who served,” Abbott said. “Today is the day we send thanks by focusing employers on hiring those veterans.”
James Starcher, a contract specialist at Joint Base San Antonio, had no trouble grabbing the attention of prospective employers. By noon, he’d had several interviews. “They all pretty much offered me a job,” he said.
For Gerry Diaz, a recruiter for Webhead, the fair was a ripe opportunity for attracting new talent to the Web design and security company, particularly in light of the 1.7 percent unemployment rate for information technology professionals.
“An event like this where you can reach out to those transitioning vets … it’s mining gold,” Diaz said.