Service members connect with employers at job fair
By KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent
July 20. 2017 12:51AM
PORTSMOUTH — Approximately 140 employers representing a variety of private and public organizations were busy taking resumes and speaking with potential workers Wednesday morning during the Hiring Our Heroes military job fair.
Held at Great Bay Community College, organizations from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut were recruiting.
Houston Police Department recruiter and Marine veteran Bryan Reese said he travels throughout America to hire officers because the city needs a large number of people. Houston has the fifth-largest police department in the country, he said.
“I like military events because the recruits are trainable and meet the physical requirements for the job,” Reese said. “A lot of military people want to be police officers.”
Scott LeBrecque of Portsmouth was in the Merchant Marine for five years. LeBrecque said he has a job, but was talking to Reese to see what opportunities are out there.
BAE Systems, which handles a number of military contracts, also had recruiters at the fair. Talent acquisition specialists Meghan Delyani and Jessica Grasso said that since veterans have used BAE products while serving, they have helpful suggestions for improvements.
“BAE has a very strong commitment to the military,” Delyani said. “Veterans’ skills are excellent, and really helpful.”
By 11:30 a.m., Delyani and Grasso had about 100 resumes.
New Hampshire Department of Transportation training and recruitment specialist Alicia Jipson said the DOT has open positions all over the state, and working for the department gives veterans a great sense of pride when they build or fix public roads.
“They have that background with engineering and building,” Jipson said.
Air Force veteran Paul Bryant of Candia and Heather Cote of Danville both spoke with Ed Cormier, who was recruiting for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Cote is still in the New Hampshire National Guard, but wanted to see what kinds of employers were at the fair.
Bryant had one or two employers in mind he wanted to speak with, but ended up exchanging information with 10 to 15 recruiters.
“There’s a lot of really good companies here, and a lot of opportunity,” Bryant said.
Cormier, a Navy veteran, said they have all of the shipyard job openings posted on usajobs.gov; it will be starting up their trades apprenticeship program again soon.
Great Bay Community College President Will Arvelo said the school was thrilled to be the host site for the military job fair. After a two-hour period just for vets and service members, the fair was opened to the public.
Arvelo estimated 1,000 or so people would attend the fair over the course of the day.
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