FASTPORT President Brad Bentley and Director of Military Outreach Sharri Justice Meet with Soldiers and Airmen transitioning from JBLM during hiring fair
February 3rd was a rainy day (not surprising for a Washington afternoon), but that didn’t stop over 250 Soldiers and Airmen from seeking out jobs to help them transition from their military to civilian careers. Goodwill’s Operation: GoodJobs and FASTPORT partnered to bring over 70 employers to the on-base hiring fair to help military job seekers understand the industries in which they are hard-wired to succeed—and to bring them career opportunities.
Along with FASTPORT, Operation: GoodJobs aims to help Veterans, transitioning service members, Reservists, and Guardsmen, and military spouses obtain gainful and long-lasting employment after their military service is complete. That common goal provided the foundation for the joint hiring fair that featured resume workshopping, a networking event, a traditional hiring fair, and an outside exhibit that featured different pieces of trucking equipment.
Freedom Driver, Guy Gene Horn standing in front of Werner Enterprises’ Freedom Truck along with tractors and trailers from other attending employers, including on-base CDL school Troops Into Transportation
Troy Falardeau, the Military & Veteran Outreach Coordinator, Operation: GoodJobs, meets consistently with transitioning service members at Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Soldier for Life - TAP program and emphasized that hiring fairs like this are useful for Soldiers at anytime during their transition process.
“For someone with little experience, this hiring fair was a good way to get their feet wet and understand what is in their future. Military and civilian leaders have publicly said that starting your civilian career search as early as possible is a huge benefit to servicemembers, so this is a perfect opportunity to get started,” said Falardeau. “For those with more experience – or less time before their transition – this event will help them focus on the next steps needed to find a good job and how to make the most of their remaining time in uniform.”
Top left to bottom right: YRC Freight, Ryder, FedEx Freight and Werner engaging with active-duty and former service members to help them meet their employment goals.
Over 70 employers attended with open positions and looked to offer immediate job placement, pre-hire offers, and professional mentoring to JBLM’s Soldiers and Airmen. Of those 70 employers, about 20% were actively engaged in the Trucking Track Program with the united goal to hire 150,000 military service members by 2020.
These companies included (in alphabetical order): Clean Harbors, FedEx Freight, Interstate Distributor Company, J.B. Hunt, Penske, Quality Carriers, Reddaway, Ryder, Trans-System, Troops Into Transportation, Werner Enterprises, XPO Logistics and YRC Freight.
“As we empower our current and transitioned military and their families with employment after they transition from service, there is no doubt in my mind that Trucking Track employers will complete a twofold mission: become the First Responders in Veteran employment and avoid the driver shortage that is threatening the trucking industry,” said FASTPORT President Brad Bentley. “We are proud to coordinate with Goodwill and Operation: GoodJobs today to ensure that important mission succeeds.”
Left to right: J.B. Hunt and Quality Carriers representatives educating Soldiers on how their military experience prepares them for careers in the trucking industry
For more information on the Trucking Track or to learn more about future hiring fairs on military installations, please visit truckingtrack.org or call 978-877-4300.