Special Job Fair Helps Veterans Find Work

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It was all about meeting people and making connections Friday afternoon at a special job fair for veterans.

More than 30 employers set up shop at the VFW Park in Huntington's Guyandotte community to hire hopefuls who served.

Cory Bartram was one of them.

"I think it's awesome that there are this many people out there who are specifically looking for veterans to hire," Bartram said.

Bartram says it's been a tough road for the past two years since he finished serving as an aircraft mechanic in the military.

"It's tumultous, sporadic work at best," he said. "My last job was based primarily on coal mining. Coal took a downturn, and I've been laid off for almost a year now since October."

But employers say young veterans like Bartram are exactly the kind of people they want to hire. And fairs like the one in Guyandotte make it easier to find them.

"We're always excited to see the younger veterans come through," said Derek Knapp of U.S. Bank. "They transfer really well into our industry and pick up really quickly with their skills and discipline."

Bartram says it was comforting to see so many people in one place who value his service - something feels isn't expressed often enough.

"Even if it's just as simple as stopping and saying, 'Hey, thanks for your service'... I wish more people would do that," he said. "Let other veterans know that they matter."

Organizers say they plan to make the job fair an annual event.

If you missed it this year, organizers say there are plenty of resources that help veterans every day.

They say you can contact VFW Post 9738 or the American Legion. They also say Marshall University has a new office to help those who served.

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