(Photo by Nick Delgado)
FORT HOOD (January 15, 2014) Nearly 5,000 people attended the annual mega job fair Wednesday at Fort Hood.
The event was open to the public, but employers focused on hiring soldiers who are leaving the military.
"The army is downsizing, and what we're trying to do is maximize our exiting military members exposure to all these great companies and job opportunities," said Linda Christ, Fort Hood’s transition service manager.
The Army plans to reduce its force by nearly 42,000 troops by September 2015.
Representatives of about 175 employers and technical schools were on hand Wednesday.
"Once they go through the great army training, they have experience, and after a while they've got something really valuable to offer to employers, Christ said.
“But they don't know how to express that, so our job is first of all to show them how their military training and education has prepared them for a civilian job, and then help them got that in to a civilian career."
"It's a good event for soldiers who's looking and seeking for better opportunities in the world," said Pfc. Tavorya Martin, who is being medically discharged later this year.
"I like to do new things in life, and you only live once (and) might as well do more things."
The base has hosted two major job fairs annually for the last decade, and officials plan to add a third event next year.
"We just totally appreciate the support of our command," Christ said.
"They have been with us all the way to help our soldiers get to the next step, and we really appreciate all the great employers out there that are helping us transition our military members into their next careers."