Brian Kelly

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-Hundreds of veterans went to the St. Louis University campus Thursday, looking for jobs.

The RecruitMilitary job fair drew 46 companies to Chaifetz Arena, 15 more than last year. They ranged from banks to rental car companies to private security firms. The longest line was at the Lockheed-Martin table.

RecruitMilitary event director Robert Walker, a former infantryman, tells KMOX that many companies are helping veterans transition to new civilian careers, “A lot of companies now are becoming more educated on veterans and actually helping them and assisting them saying ‘these are the best opportunities we have for you, at least come into our company'”.

Among those checking them out was Chris Funken, a Marine who is getting out in November and is doing some pre-planning,  “It’s better to get this stuff done ahead of time as opposed to getting out and ‘I need a job now’ and there’s that gap”.

National Guardsman Joel Petry says it’s been tough to find work while in the Guard, “It’s harder to tell a boss that I’m not going to be there for a full year for ya’ or I might get pulled out at any time.”

Petry hopes with the drawdown coming in Afghanistan there will be fewer re-deployments and businesses will be more willing to hire members of the National Guard.

National Guardsman Jason Wagers  says military veterans offer a lot to potential employers, “Employers like our experience and they like the fact we have leadership skills.”

Funken says veterans, especially Marines, make great employees, “They’re always on time. They’re disciplined. They’re ready for any challenge. The list can go on and on.”

Copyright KMOX Radio

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