Rowan College at Burlington County is hosting a job fair for U.S. Military veterans on Nov. 7. More than 20 businesses and organizations have already signed up to participate.
For extended, often grueling stretches overseas, military personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces serve their country with pride and dignity.
And now a Burlington County civilian is returning the favor by serving them.
Barbara Weir, program manager in the Career Services Center at Rowan College at Burlington County, is organizing a job fair for those who have served after being approached about the idea by a representative from nearby Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
The Veterans Job Fair at Rowan College at Burlington County on Nov. 7 will be held fFrom 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Student Success Center on the Mount Laurel campus off Route 38. More than 20 local businesses and organizations will set up informational tables with representatives. Veterans will be able to browse all the tables and discuss civilian job opportunities.
The event, presented by RCBC’s Workforce Development Institute, is free and open to all military members throughout the area, including veterans, active duty military and their spouses. A workshop on interviewing and networking will also be available from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
“Anybody who needs a job I’m hopeful we can get this done,” Weir said.
Weir said the idea from the representative from joint base came about since RCBC is close to the installations and because of its veteran student population.
Once asked, Weir didn’t hesitate.
“The military has always been near and dear to my heart,” she said.
Then she got to work, and the veteran career services employee had no trouble doing something that is quite normal for her. Weir and Rowan host career fairs and hiring events on a regular basis, just not usually for veterans.
Since this fair is specific to veterans, Weir recruited businesses and organizations looking to hire for unspecific positions. Mainly, Weir wanted to avoid jobs involving any red tape.
Veterans spend years learning and practicing discipline, so they are often good workers in any context, but they also rarely enter the civilian job market with certifications and registrations specific to industries, officials said.
“We don’t want them saying, ‘We’re only hiring a registered nurse.’ That’s a waste of a veteran’s time,” Weir said. “We want them employed.”
“We’re trying to find openings like logistics and manufacturing positions,” she added.
Weir has been successful so far, as 25 businesses and organizations have signed up for the fair more than a week out. The Student Success Center has space for 35 tables, but if Weir can draw more businesses than that, she won’t hold back.
“I’ll figure it out within the building if I have to,” Weir said.
The event may just attract more than 35 businesses and organizations.
“Quite a few veterans are working for us and they are good people,” said Robert Ruoff, the director of sales at Bright Lights USA, a manufacturer in Mount Laurel that is participating in the fair.
“They have a work ethic,” Ruoff added.
They complete their missions, in other words, and Weir looks likely to complete her mission, too.
Most of the veterans who attend the fair should walk out with multiple job prospects.
“We’ll help get them where they need to be,” Weir said.