Nearly 200 Job Seekers, Employers Connected at Veteran and Military Career Fair
Nearly 200 job seekers attended the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority’s most recent Veterans, Transitioning Service Members and Military Spouses Career Fair held on May 10, 2023, at the National Museum of the United States Army in Ft. Belvoir; and on May 11, 2023, on a virtual basis. The event was co-hosted with Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Hire Vets Now Foundation, and held in partnership with Fort Belvoir, the Virginia Department of Veteran Services, and the Virginia Employment Commission.
“We are honored to provide support for transitioning service members and veterans to find civilian jobs, as well as assisting military spouses with their career objectives,” said Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “This benefits not only those who have served our country, but the many companies in Northern Virginia that are seeking to hire top talent.”
During the two-day event, candidates had the opportunity to network with dozens of hiring organizations from rising start-ups to government agencies to Fortune 500 corporations. Top national employers, including GDIT, Leidos, Peraton, CACI and BAE, among my others, that were actively hiring for 10,000+ positions across a variety of sectors, including government, IT, finance, renewable energy, and healthcare.
During the opening ceremony of the in-person event, remarks were made by Fairfax County Supervisor Dan Storck, Mount Vernon District; Virginia State Delegate Paul Krizek, 44th District; Fairfax County School Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders, Mount Vernon District; and Lieutenant Colonel Amber Ryder, Commander, Fort Belvoir Headquarters Battalion. During the event, Supervisor Storck also presented a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Proclamation recognizing Military Spouse Appreciation Week, held May 5-12, 2023, to LTC Amber Ryder.
FCEDA talked to several job seekers, recruiters and program providers at the event to take the pulse on hiring activities. U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Vonzell Mattocks, a strategic consultant and coach, said:
“Fairfax County EDA had an amazing event today! Thanks for all your organization does to support the military community.”
Ridgeline International’s technical recruiting lead Adam Avitabile, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, said:
“I’m here today at Fort Belvoir at a Veteran Career Fair supporting our veterans, transitioning service members to find their next opportunity as they get ready to hang up those boots. We love coming to these events because we are committed to hiring our veterans. Forty-two percent of our company had prior service in the military, and we know what value veterans bring to the workplace.”
Karen Santiano Francis, program manager for Onward for Opportunity, a program of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, said that the program provides transitional programs for transitioning military, to veterans and military spouses, as well as Guard Reservists.
“By bringing my cohort to this program from Fairfax County, I think two of my folks already have a job interview set up. It’s a great way for them to start networking. It’s a great way for them to get to the people that will hopefully eventually hire them,” Ms. Francis said.
Military Spouse Wendy Lazarus, regional site director for npower SkillBridge program, said:
“npower is a technology training company. We provide pathways to prosperity, and we are of 20 years in doing exactly this with young adults and veterans, military spouses, military connected. This is our newest program, which is Skillbridge. This is our second time here at this beautiful location in Fort Belvoir at the National Museum of the U.S. Army. We love this location and we love the opportunity to come directly to active duty and transitioning military members that are looking to create a new opportunity for themselves in technology.”
Access to upskilling resources and programs, resume guidance and free headshots were available at the fair. The resource partners represented at the Career Fair were:
- ACS/TAP Resources
- American Corporate Partners
- Disabled American Veterans
- Fairfax County Mount Vernon District
- The Federal Savings Bank
- Military Spouse Fellowship Program, Hiring Our Heroes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
- Northern Virginia Community College
- Onward 2 Opportunity
- Spouse Education & Career Opportunities (DoD)
- Virginia Career Works – Northern Region
- Virginia Department of Veterans Services
Home to nearly 80,000 veterans and their families, as well as a vibrant community of nearly 2,000 veteran-owned firms, Northern Virginia’s Fairfax County is a choice location for both active duty and retired military to successfully transition into the civilian workforce. With its proximity to major federal agencies – including the Department of Defense, the Pentagon and NASA – educational institutions and Fortune 500 headquarters, Fairfax County is a top location for fostering professional growth for cleared talent. To support the growing need for talent in Northern Virginia, FCEDA and its partners have been organizing in-person and virtual career fairs since 2020 to attract, retain and nurture talent by connecting job seekers to military-friendly companies in the region. To-date, these collaborations have resulted in nearly 10,000 job seekers successfully connected to Northern Virginia employers. To find out more, visit www.workinnorthernvirginia.com.