Paychecks For Patriots Connects Vets With Employers

Jul 16, 2014

Here's Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera speaking just before the event got under way.
Credit Nick Evans

The transition from solider to civilian isn’t always easy, especially when jobs are hard to come by.  But Florida’s job-placement agencies are trying to help.

A group of veterans is making its way down the hall at Career Source Capital Region.  It’s the Tallahassee office of the state-backed workforce agency. 

Wednesday’s Paychecks for Patriots hiring fair puts these vets face-to-face with potential employers in the area. Meanwhile, similar events are taking place at 15 other Career Source Florida sites across the state.   Lt. Gov Carlos Lopez-Cantera hopes this year’s event will improve on previous success.

“Last year there were less events than this year, and 500 veterans were able to – almost 500 veterans – were able to find a job,” Lopez-Cantera says.  “Our goal this year is to make sure that we increase on that number, and find our hard working men and women, who have served us so well, a job.”

There’s a buzz of activity as attendees make their way through the room, visiting the booths of different companies.  James McShane, CEO of Career Source Capital Region is happy with the turnout.

“I’d say at this point, I thought 30, but I guess we’ve got more like 50 veterans here, which is a good thing.  And then we have about 28 employers that are here too,” McShane says.  “As you can tell, a lot of discussion, a lot of talking, finding out about jobs, finding out what’s available.”

Lester Hall is a former Marine who attended the event.  The Gulf War veteran says he found some promising opportunities at the event.

“I got about three good leads that I’m going to follow up on, filling out the applications online, and seeing where it goes from there,” Hall says.

Charles Fedd, a veteran of the Army’s 123rd Signal Battalion says he found leads as well.

“There’s always opportunity,” Fedd says. “See, no matter where you go you make your own opportunity.  And yes I did, as a matter of fact, I got about four different hits, and so forth, that’s why I’m going to get more resumes so I can go pass them out to more people.”

The hiring fair brought out well-known national employers like Home Depot and Dollar General as well as businesses like St. Marks powder and engineering firm Morris Allen and Associates.