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Job fair hosted at State Farm Stadium for Valley veterans

Posted at 6:15 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 21:15:51-04

Hundreds of Valley veterans filled State Farm Stadium for a job fair on Thursday.

The event was hosted by DAV and RecruitMilitary and gave current and former service members a chance to meet potential employers.

"It's a little bit of a challenge, meeting and greeting people," said Mark Barlow, an Army Veteran.

Barlow told ABC15 that he has a lot of experience in the military and is looking for something that matches his skill set.

Meanwhile, companies like Commercial Divers International spent the day looking for future employees.

Their lead and instructor and director of admissions are both veterans.

"It was nerve-racking for me when I hit the button and started to retire," said Air Force veteran Elaina Arpino, the company's director of admissions.

She said veterans are the "perfect fit" for a lot of companies.

"They're reliable, they have integrity, service before self," she said.

"These are all values that are really installed into this career field," Arpino added.

Meanwhile, lead instructor Shawn Dagley told ABC15 events like these make it easier for veterans to talk about their job search and experience.

He said veterans bring a lot to the table.

"Well most of them are punctual," he said.

"They show up, they're going to be on the job. Some of them have security clearances which help with a lot of the jobs we get -- but the integrity -- the ability to stand up and say I did that or I'm going to do that means a lot to us," he added.

During the pandemic, unemployment rates for veterans climbed above 6 percent. However, those numbers decreased to 3.8 percent last month.

The unemployment rate for non-veterans was 5.2% for August.

“Our mission is to empower veterans with career opportunities and the return of our face-to-face events allows us to serve our community of 1.5 million job seekers in the most effective way possible,” said RecruitMilitary CEO Tim Best, a former Army Special Operations Attack helicopter pilot.

“While our virtual events provided a way for us to connect with our job candidates and employers throughout 2020, we’re ready to turn the page and bring veterans and employers together in person for meaningful career opportunities," he added.

For more information about available jobs, click here.