You have reached a collection of archived material.

The content available is no longer being updated and may no longer be applicable as a result of changes in law, regulation and/or administration. If you wish to see the latest content, please visit the current version of the site.

For persons with disabilities experiencing difficulties accessing content on archive.defense.gov, please use the DoD Section 508 Form. In this form, please indicate the nature of your accessibility issue/problem and your contact information so we can address your issue or question.

United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

DoD News

Bookmark and Share

 News Article

Companies Seek to Hire Vets at Jacksonville Military Job Fair

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida, May 3, 2015 – Nearly 40 companies participated in the Jacksonville Military Job Fair here today, providing information and services to help veterans and service members on the cusp of transitioning from military life.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Kerry-Ann Moore, left, an advisor from the Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department, shakes hands with Army Capt. Jessie Felix during a military job fair in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, May 2, 2015. The job fair was sponsored by the city, PGA Tour’s The Players Championship and the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

In its fourth year, the job fair is a joint effort between the city of Jacksonville, the PGA Tour’s The Players Championship and Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition.

Matt Tuohy, a retired Navy captain and director of aeronautics at Jacksonville University, serves as a liaison for the city and JMVC. 

“Basically, that’s the private side of the public-private partnership, ‘Jobs for Vets,’ for the city of Jacksonville,” Tuohy said. “Seven or eight companies came together and started this.” 

He explained the program was built and given to the city where it is now run through the Military Affairs office and it’s grown quite a bit. “We have over 270 companies now that are on the website,” he said. “These are companies that have … identified themselves as wanting to hire veterans.”

Military Job Fair

Tuohy said some of the services offered at the job fair aside from the job opportunities include career counseling and resume counseling.

What are sometimes called soft skills, Tuohy said he prefers to call “success” skills, which are “exactly” what employers are seeking.

The venue has also grown in size, doubling from 20 companies, he said, after the PGA Tour stepped forward to help.

“Over the last three years it’s grown into this,” Tuohy said. “[We’re] very fortunate that the PGA Tour and the Players [Championship] have expanded the Patriots’ Outpost. 

“It’s interesting,” he continued, “because … unlike a lot of other job fairs where the companies are stroking some pretty big checks to participate, the cost for admission here is you have to have a job to give.”

So in theory, Tuohy said, a veteran can walk through the front door, and there is the potential to get a job at every table -- except the one with the free sandwiches. “Even then, he added, “you never know.”

The retired naval officer credited the PGA Tour and companies for joining the city of Jacksonville and their willingness to participate in the job fair. “If one person walks through and gets a job, well then it’s worth the effort,” Tuohy said.

Helping With Transition

Following his visit to the job fair, Coast Guard Lt. Sal Shelton, executive officer for the USCG Maritime Safety and Security Team Kings Bay, said he felt it helped with his preparation to transition.

“I have about a year before I retire,” he said. “I really wanted to come to the job fair and see what civilian jobs are available to someone that’s had 20 years of service in. It’s kind of a scary thought transitioning out of uniform. So I want prepare myself as best as possible. This job fair is an opportunity to do that.”

The Newark, New Jersey, native said he felt there were some pretty good job opportunities at the fair.

“They definitely seem like career paths that I can take down the line,” Shelton said. “I want this next career path to be something that I really enjoy doing, so I definitely want to really shop the market a little bit more.”

A ‘Fantastic’ Experience

Shelton said he found Operation “New Uniform” to be the most useful resource in the job fair. This organization, he explained, helps veterans prepare their resumes, craft a “two-minute spiel” of career accomplishments and translate those military achievements into marketable civilian skills.

“I think going through companies like this are probably the most beneficial things you need in the time like I’m in right now,” Shelton said.

The coast guard veteran expressed his gratitude to the job fair’s sponsors for a great experience.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Shelton said. “I think a lot of the cities should do the same. Follow suit. Military members --we’re less than one percent of the population. I think what we learn in the military can definitely benefit the civilian world.” 

A lot of values service have can be instilled into the civilian workforce, he said. “It’s job opportunities like this -- fairs like this -- that actually get the military member connected to the civilian side,” Shelton added.

Advice to Veterans

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Chance Miller, a logistics specialist and native of Charlotte, North Carolina, offered his advice to anyone transitioning or considering attending a job fair.

“Today, if I didn’t get out of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity,” he said. “Who knows where that can lead?”

“Getting out [of the service] is the scariest thing,” Miller said. “The military is my comfort zone -- it is for a lot of people. But what do you really want in life after that?”

Miller encouraged people to be decisive when they are searching for what they want, and to be themselves.

“Don’t put on a front, because your real side is going to come out,” he said. “Be professional, but also be yourself. That’s what I say. Don’t fake it until you make it.”

Miller, who will complete his service in September, said the job fair was inviting and warming.

“This was absolutely beautiful. Amazing,” he said. “I’ve never been here, but the atmosphere that was provided is like -- someone does care about helping veterans.”

“Being at the PGA … it’s calming instead of going to a weird building,” Miller said. “They’ve done an amazing job of putting it together.”

(Follow Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallDoDNews) 

Contact Author

Related Sites:
Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans

Click photo for screen-resolution imageHarold Little, right, a retired Navy lieutenant, exchanges paperwork with a company representative during a large-scale military job fair in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, May 2, 2015. The job fair was sponsored by the city, PGA Tour’s The Players Championship and the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution



Additional Links

Stay Connected