MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
People join the military for a wide variety of reasons. Some can’t wait to leave home and join right after high school while others seek a job offering travel and adventure. Some service members want to use what they learn in the armed forces as a launch pad to catapult them into the job field of their choice once they leave the active or reserve ranks.
Marine Corps Community Services hosted its bi-annual Job Fair and Education Exposition aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Sept. 19 in order to give Marines and sailors nearing their ends of active service an opportunity to discover what lies ahead in their path toward a successful civilian career.
Approximately 80 employers and 55 colleges, universities and trade schools filled Marston Pavilion and the Russell Marine and Family Center, while service members and their dependents sought out viable career options beyond military service.
Prospective employers were bombarded by a barrage of questions from interested applicants throughout the day. Questions about job qualifications, the hiring process, working day-to-day and benefits were common among the employment portion of the event.
In another room, representatives from various schools answered questions about how to use the GI Bill when applying for enrollment, signing up for online classes, and how to manage the military and class work at the same time.
Many of the employers at the job fair were from various police departments in the area, which seemed to be a big hit among the service members.
“A lot of our applicants want to continue serving even if they aren’t on active duty anymore,” said Angela Jones, a human resources personnel assistant with the Provost Marshall’s Office. “(Being a civilian Camp Lejeune police officer) gives them the opportunity to serve the military community and their fellow Marines, while not being in the Marine Corps.”
Lee Tuthill, a transition support specialist with MCCS and one of the main coordinators for the event, said she invited companies that have a diverse range of job openings.
“I wanted to bring in employers who had spots available to fill with Marines who may not have much education,” said Tuthill. “But, I also requested companies that have job openings for someone in a senior leadership role. There are jobs here for the four-year corporal getting out and there are jobs for the 20-year colonel as well.”
Tuthill also invited school representatives who offered the same range of diversity educationally. There were people from construction and truck-driving trade schools, as well as the University of Southern California presenting information on admissions and majors at the education expo.
Rachel Leveron, a senior admissions counselor with USC, said she answers a lot of questions about the GI Bill for service members and also gives insight on many unknown scholarships available to the military.
Tuthill said the next Job Fair and Education Expo is scheduled for April 2013.