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Goodwill’s Operation GoodJobs

Goodwill career fair draws crowd

Northwest Guardian

Published: 12:56PM February 9th, 2017
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“We need people, and we know that military members are already disciplines, experienced in people skills and proficient in the traits we need.”

Kyle Ohashi

Captain, Puget Sound Regional Fire Department

Hundreds of employers and transitioning service members packed into the American Lake Conference Center to participate in the quarterly career fair put on by Goodwill’s Operation GoodJobs! program Feb. 1.

The event featured recruiters from all walks of the employment field. There were opening for jobs with local and state governments, potential openings with police and fire departments and an array of private business looking for skilled workers.

“This fair gives service members an opportunity to experience the business culture and climate and it gives folks the chance to see how you connect into these industries,” said Terrence Hodge, Goodwill’s veteran service manager and organizer of the event. “We are committed to helping them have the complete package.”

Beyond just the meetings with potential employers, the fair also featured sit-down sessions to review resumes and conduct mock interviews.

There were also booths that allowed people to sign up for employment matching services, where employers can search a database for viable candidates.

People were also given a chance to optimize their LinkedIn accounts with a recruiter to create a flawless profile.

Many employers at the event said service members bring a set of skills that are often lacking with many civilians.

“We need people, and we know that military members are already disciplined, experienced in people skills and proficient in the traits we need,” said Kyle Ohashi, a captain with the Puget Sound Regional Fire Department recruiting at the event. “The military is very much in line with what we are looking for. You know that you’ll be getting someone (who) can follow directions and thrive in a disciplined environment.”

One of the event’s highlights came when Boeing, a major employer at the event, presented Goodwill officials with a large check for $95,000. The money will be used to help expand Goodwill’s veteran programs around Pierce County.

For the service members at the event, the broad array of opportunities and services was a welcome reminder of how committed the military is to helping them make a successful transition.

“Being afforded all the opportunities by a job fair like this is great. It’s what is needed,” said Staff Sgt. Terrence Lucas with the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade. “Every industry you can think of is here, and it’s wonderful. This is what I expect from those (who) are supporting veterans.”