If you were looking for employment, the Fort Irwin Job Fair was the place to be on April 7.
With approximately 35 employers attending the event, and all of them with openings, the venue of Sandy Basin Community Center here was abuzz with activity. The fair was organized by the Employment Readiness Program and Transition Assistance Program here.
Some of the companies and organizations included: Upper Limit Aviation, Defense Commissary Agency, Airstreams Renewables Inc., Los Angeles Police Department, the Exchange, Goodwill SoCal, C.R. England, High Desert Support Services/CBI, Food Service Inc. of Gainsville, San Bernardino County Sheriff Department, Quinn CAT, Los Angeles County METEO and Barstow Community Hospital.
Fort Irwin United States Army Garrison Commander Col. Scott Taylor provided opening remarks to an audience that included Soldiers, family members and Veterans. He described the fair as a resource that provides options for employment to Fort Irwin. He also expressed pride in the talent of the individuals who make up the community.
“One of the things the Army does teach our Soldiers and our families is discipline and commitment to industry,” Taylor said. “I know there are a lot of employers out there who are looking for some of that commitment and that discipline. We really appreciate you coming out here today, spending some time with us, and joining us to provide this service to our community.”
Isaka Lio, a new Army spouse to Fort Irwin, attended the fair in hopes of gaining employment. She managed in the hospitality industry in her last occupation in New York. She entered Army life in November 2015 and after arriving here in March (her husband serves with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment), she began visiting the offices of Army programs on post – including the ERP run by Silvia Moreno. The March event was Lio’s first job fair.
“I just need a job,” Lio said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for whoever … wants to be in the workforce.”
Lio stated she had not seen an opportunity in her field as she walked the aisles of the venue, but acknowledged she is a fast learner and open to options.
Moreno said the job fair is only open to employers who have vacancies. The fair is designed for community members who want to see openings, speak with representatives, provide a resume and even fill out applications on the spot.
“We want them to find jobs – that’s our main goal,” Moreno said about job-seeking community members. “If you are not able to make it to these events, come see us in the office. You can come see me at building 109 … Soldier for Life is there to help Soldiers as well. That’s what we’re here for – we want to get you into employment.”
Sgt. 1st Class Marvin Williams, senior medical non-commissioned officer trainer with Goldminer Team, Operations Group, is scheduled to retire in November after 21 years of service. The job fair was another resource he has taken advantage during his last year in uniform. He has completed the Soldier For Life program, is working on finalizing his resume, and continues to network with fellow Soldiers and Veterans.
“Always use any possible resource you can,” Williams recommended.
As for the job fair, Williams commented: “I think it’s a great opportunity for people to have the availability to talk to folks to get information. You never stop training, you never stop learning.”
The next job fair takes place in September. However, the Employment Readiness Program provides services year-round. The program’s phone number is 380-5165.