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Veterans job fair set for Wednesday

LOGANVILLE -- A veterans-themed job expo will take place in neighboring Walton County on Wednesday.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American Legion Post No. 233, located at 4635 Atlanta Highway, which is U.S. Highway 78, in Loganville. The job expo is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Labor and the American Legion.

Veterans from Walton and surrounding counties are encouraged to come out and apply for jobs and get employment assistance. About 40 employers, educational institutions and resource agencies will participate. Veterans representatives from Newton, Walton and Gwinnett will be on hand to provide employment-related services.

Some employers will be hiring and others will discuss future employment opportunities. Though the job expo focuses on veterans, it is open to the general public.

While the Georgia Department of Labor has always held these types of events for veterans, there will likely be an increase, with more and more service men and women returning from overseas due to troop withdrawal, according to Steve Jennings, state coordinator of veterans services for GDOL.

Some employers are eager to hire veterans, said GDOL Communications Director Sam Hall.

"Generally speaking, companies think veterans make good employees because they know that veteran is going to understand mission, the value of teamwork, the value and importance of following orders and guidelines to achieve that mission or to reach that goal, plus they have well-established solid work ethics," Hall said. "All of that goes to making them more valuable in the civilian job market."

Federal law requires that veterans and their spouses get priority at Department of Labor Career Centers for jobs, service and training programs.

Staff specialists are on hand at GDOL's 93 career centers to help veterans find work and market themselves to employers, Hall said. Often, the specialists are themselves veterans.

"A person who has come out of the military and transitioned already into the civilian workplace understands the specific types of issues that a veteran experiences when trying to transition from military to civilian work, such as how to better explain job experience and qualifications in a manner a civilian employer can understand," Hall said. Military experience involving clerical work, logistics and transportation can be valuable in the civilian workforce, but often military terms might not be understandable to a civilian employer.

The Georgia Department of Labor and others nationwide have recently placed even more emphasis on assisting veterans with finding work by implementing the Gold Card Initiative, to provide one-on-one assistance to post-Sept. 11 veterans.

"We're increasing our focus on that group. They're having a harder time than most in general and with these economic conditions going on, they're competing with a whole lot more folks in the job search," Hall said.

Applicants who come to Wednesday's job fair are asked to bring several copies of resumes and be prepared to fill out company applications and interview for available openings, including part-time, full-time, entry-level, supervisory, and management positions.

Employer participants expected are: Advantage Staffing; Allied Barton Security; Aloricares; Apollo Staffing; Applebee's Management Training; Ark Temporary Staffing; AutoZone; BB&T; CDL of Georgia; Championship Chess; Cobb County's Department of Public Safety; Comcast-Cable/Telesales; Credability; DeVry University-Keller Management School; Department of Homeland-Security-FEMA; Disabled American Veterans; Georgia Department of Veteran Services; Georgia Aquarium; Goodwill of North Georgia; Gwinnett County School's Nutrition Department; Gwinnett County Police Department; Gwinnett Technical College's Veterans Affairs Office; Impact Staffing; Independent Electrical Contractors; Leggett and Platt; Lowe's Home Centers; Meggitt Training Systems; Mopac Plant and Building Services; Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing; Numarket Enterprises; Sears-Northlake Mall; The Art Institute; The Myers Group; The Vet Center-Lawrenceville; U.S. Navy Reserve; U.S. Secret Service; United Parcel Service; and Wells Fargo Bank.

Veterans who want more information about services available to them through the Department of Labor can visit www.dol.state.ga.us or dol.gov or call any DOL career center. The Covington Career Center can be reached at 770- 784-2455.