ACAP Hiring Event Helps Troops Land Jobs
More than 100 Soldiers and former Soldiers came to the Hilton Garden Inn in Killeen Feb. 14 in search of jobs at a hiring event co-sponsored by the Fort Hood Army Career and Alumni Program and the Lucas Group.
The event was a two-day recruiting hunt for Chesapeake Energy, one of the nation’s largest oil and gas companies.
“We are simply here to help folks once they have made the decision to leave the military,” Eddie Commender, a senior partner with Lucas Group, said.
According to Linda Christ, ACAP transition services manager, her program hosts or co-sponsors these hiring events regularly. They are a way to bring employers who are looking to hire veterans together with those veterans.
“We make the connection between employers and our veterans,” Christ said.
The partnership between Lucas Group and the military is one that has been cultivated for more than 40 years. The group started as a small, one-man business founded by Art Lucas, a Vietnam veteran. The group’s vision is to help military personnel transition to the civilian workforce after honorably completing their military service, according to their website.
“Our company specializes in hosting these hiring events, which focus on interviewing and getting veterans job offers,” Commender, himself a military veteran who used an event like this to transition out of military service, said.
“The companies at these hiring events are focused on finding military veterans to hire,” he added.
One of those veterans, David Ferrance, a recently transitioned Soldier, said that an event like this makes it so much easier for veterans to find the jobs that are out there.
“This was nothing like I expected,” Ferrance said. “They sit you down to go over your application, double-check your resume, they ask straight-forward questions and get to know you as a person.”
Specialist Michael Abitago, a construction engineer for Company C, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion is currently transitioning out of the Army. He liked the process at the hiring event, calling it very detailed.
“They help you with what position you should apply for and what that job is all about,” Abitago said.
The key difference with an event like this versus a normal job fair is that the companies participating are ready with job offers for the veterans selected to attend, Commender said. Some vets even get hired on the spot.
“I was told that I would be hearing from them in the next couple of days with a possible job offer,” Ferrance said.
“They are truly out there to hire us,” Abitago added.
Christ added that employers like these types of military-exclusive hiring conferences, because they know what they are getting as far as prospective employees – a high-quality candidate for their job.
Through these special hiring events, ACAP is able to fulfill one of its key objectives in its transition program for America’s Army, delivering transition assistance and employment assistance services, Christ said.
“ACAP has been very supportive in helping get veterans to the event,” Commender said, “and it has been a great partnership working with them.”
Christ added, “Lucas Group and Chesapeake have been great supporters of our job fairs for years, and they are just a dream to work with. All they asked us to do was get the word out and that is all we had to do to help these great employers give the best people in the world (veterans) some awesome jobs.”
Christ said she expects to conduct more of these types of events in the upcoming months, and will be promoting them, along with job fairs, all over the installation.