Job fair in Oakland offers new career opportunities for veterans

A free job fair was held at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday for veterans looking for a new career. 

Advocacy group, Disabled American Veterans and job search firm, Recruit Military, organized the event. 

While only 2.3 percent of veterans are unemployed —the lowest number in half a century, 43 private companies and public agencies set up shop. 

The prospective employers didn't show up out of a sense of community service, but to hire the best candidates and some of which are veterans. 

"Veterans are natural born leaders. They're motivated," said Officer Javier Acosta, San Jose police recruiter. "They've already proven that they've served their citizens of this country and we now want them to serve the communities here in the Bay area, especially San Jose."

Samanta Duncan with Recruit Military says their work ethic is unmatched. 

“They show up on time and their work ethic is, you know top notch and those are things employers are really looking for," Duncan said. 

A wide variety of former military, as well as those transitioning back into civilian life, took advantage. 
Stephanie Justice, a new Cal State graduate and a veteran of two Middle East combat tours attended. 

“Companies that put veterans first, that appreciate their service to our country, it blows my mind and I would definitely like to work for a company that appreciates what we did for our country,” said Justice. 

Shedrick Washington already has a job, but the former Army administrative specialist said, “ I'm always looking to broaden my horizons and look for new opportunities. I've spoken to about five or six people already and it seems, looks promising.”

After 30 years in business with his own office supplies company, veteran Ken Jackson hopes to slow down and consult.

“What I'm looking for is primarily temporary work," Jackson said. "I'm here to see what's available and to see if they're looking for O.G.'s (old guys) like me who've been down in the trenches who know how to get it and how to save companies money in their procurement department."

A top priority was finding jobs for military spouses as well. 

“They also travel and transition with their service members," said Duncan. "So, for them, they leave a job. They're looking for something new."