Veterans look for permanent careers at hiring fair

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

Richard Allen Stivers retired from the Marine Corps in the '80s. He bumped around from city to city working odd jobs, before finally settling in and opening his own business.

But 13 years later, his once-thriving business collapsed in the recession. So he moved to Southmayd, Tex. to start over.

"You know it's embarrassing to say, because I'm not used to having to back-up and restart," he said.

Like many veterans, he showed up Thursday looking for a steady career - again.

"I'm 50 years old, and I really need to settle down and get into a company that's gonna help me in my years later on in life," he said.

The Denison fair is one of 20 happening across the state. Many businesses - including KXII - were on-hand to talk to job-seekers.

Bob Rhoden, director of external relations for Workforce Solutions Texoma, said it's a way to combat the state's high veteran unemployment.

"It gives an opportunity for those veterans to stand across the table from people who are looking for the skills they have, for the training they have, the education they have, so they can actually talk to that person who's making a hiring decision," he said.

Tony Hall, veterans employment representative with the Texas Veterans Commission, said veterans often struggle when explaining how their military experience will translate into a civilian job.

"At present, we are in the process of educating the vets on how to convert those skills over to civilian occupations," he said.

Hall plays match-maker, pairing a job-seeking veteran with an employer who's looking to hire.

Stivers is optimistic about the day.

"I just got here a little while ago, but I'm already filling out an application, so I guess that's good news," he said.

More than 50 veterans showed up to the fair.


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