Career Centers host job fairs for vets

Career Centers across the state held multiple job fairs in November in honor of “Hire Vets First Month.” Tennessee’s veteran population is approximately one-half million. Annually our local offices provide some type of service to more than 35,000 veterans.

The job fairs are an excellent time for employers and veterans seeking jobs to connect and to show gratitude to veterans for all their hard work and dedication.



A cameraman from WBBJ in Jackson videos an employer talking to an applicant; another employer in photo at right.

TN Career Center

The Tennesssee Career Center – Jackson hosted an event on November 7. Seven employers and service providers took part, with more than 50 veterans attending. Special guests were State Rep. Johnny Shaw, Craig Galey representing Commissioner John Keys with the Tennessee Dept of Veterans Affairs, and Dale Warf with the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. The event was covered by The Jackson Sun and WBBJ-ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

TN Career Center

Ronnie Gunnels reports that the open house for veterans in Dyersburg attracted 30 guests.

Angela Lawrence, veterans’ outreach specialist with the Tennessee Career Center at Chattanooga, is pictured with Chris Cole and Dan Dobbs, both veteran’s employment representatives.

TN Career Center
The Tennessee Career Center at Chattanooga hosted local organizations that provide vet services as part of its Hire Vets First program on November 12, 2008. Attending the program held at the Career Center the morning of November 12 were representatives from the State Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Chattanooga Office and from the Veterans’ Administration’s Veterans’ Counseling Center at Chattanooga. Also on hand to talk to veterans were the Disabled American Veterans Service Officer from the Chattanooga VA-Outpatient Clinic and a representative from Chattanooga’s Ernie Pyle Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.


Pictured at the Vets’ Job Fair at the Tennessee Career Center at Nashville are Dave Rigney, Mitch Norton, Tom Girard, John Alexander, Brett Abernathy and Lee Hall; all middle Tennessee veterans  representatives.

TN Career Center
Nashville North

The Veterans’ Open House/Job Fair at the Nashville Career Center had representatives from four education institutions and 16 veteran/community service agencies as well as 12 employers. John Alexander said the Career Center had a total of 444 visitors on the day of the open house, including the veterans and non-veterans who signed in for the job fair and others who attended.


TN Career Center
Johnson City

The Career Center at Johnson City had approximately 30 guests on November 6 from 10am-2pm.  Two guest speakers from ESGR/USERRA gave presentations, and employer representatives from Eastman, ACT, and Wyndham Resorts were present.  Diana Tarlton, veterans’ representative, said others on hand were Doug Dellinger from Bristol, Katina Buono from Kingsport, and Jerry Wilhoit from Rogersville.


TN Career Center

The Crossville Career Center conducted an Open House on November 10, 2008, to celebrate the “Hire Vets First” program. The response to this event was great for the veterans and employers of the Crossville and Upper Cumberland area.

The Career Centers from Roane and Putnam Counties were also represented by their veterans’ staffs, consisting of Philip Kelly, Stephanie Gates and Gary Hanna, along with Alex Horony from Cumberland County.  The following local employers and businesses set up displays and were on site at the fair: East Tennessee Human Resources Agency; Ficosa North America; Metalcraft Tools; Bayou Steel; Tennessee Tech Center; Aramark; Kelly Staffing; Cumberland County Schools; the National Guard; and the Military Police.

A large representation of local business owners attended the celebration, along with approximately 300 prospective applicants and veterans.  The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard flags were on display, as was the “Hire Vets First” banner, purchased by ETHRA, and were a big hit.

The combined staff of the Crossville Career Center, which consists of Pam Stubbs and GED staff; Delois Randolph and WIA staff; Tammie Winningham and Voc Rehab staff; and James Perry and Job Service staff, supported veterans’ staff in preparing and supporting the events of that day. Also, the veterans’ staffs of Putnam and Roane counties had a part in making this day a success.

  The Clarksville job fair attracted more than 350 job seekers.

TN Career Center

The Clarksville-Montgomery County Career Center veterans’ staff sponsored their annual Hire Vets First Job Fair November 17 on Ft. Campbell, KY.  It was a resounding success with more than 350 job seekers to include veterans, retirees, and transition soldiers, along with 30 employers/service agencies providing a wealth of information.  This job fair was designed to focus primarily on federal contract jobs, which included corporations such as DynCorp, L3 Communications, and Stanley Associates, just to name a few.

  Darrel Holloway, Knoxville LVER, welcomes participants to the open house.

TN Career Center

The Tennessee Career Center in Knoxville held its Hire Vets First Open House on November 25. The focus was on services provided at the Career Center. Darrel Holloway, LVER and primary organizer of the event, welcomed participants to the opening session.  Roy Jones, TDLWD employer Specialist, provided an overview of the job outlook in Knoxville and discussed specifics that humanrResources staffs look for on résumés along with what to do and not to do during interviews.  He shared information regarding a survey he conducted with 30 local employers.

Jackie Coward, Workforce Connections Career Specialist, facilitated a workshop on résumé and cover-letter writing.  Bob Thomas, Workforce Connections career specialist, conducted a workshop on interviewing skills.  Debbie Arthur, Workforce Connections Resource Center coordinator, wrapped things up with a workshop on job search techniques and information regarding services available in the Resource Center. Career Center staff said they thank their partners for their participation.

Support organizations participating were Vet Pre-College/UT Knoxville, Volunteers of America, Veterans Affairs, and the VA Vocational Rehabilitation Services.  WATE and WVLT covered the event, which included interviews with some of the veterans and Tim Witt.


TN Career Center

The Hire Vets First Open Houseat the Talbott Career Center took place November 5.
Darlene Ely writes that a buffet-style reception was held in the classroom.  Red, white and blue centerpieces and bows and balloons were on display. The appeals room was used for display of memorabilia contributed by staff and local veterans, and ESGR set up a display with information for employers. An awards ceremony began at noon, conducted in the resource room. The Hamblen County Fire Department Honor Guard and guest speaker Force Master Chief Christopher Penton, USN, took part in the ceremony. Several sponsors contributed door prizes.

Employers and guests were given tours of the Career Center. More than 80 employers, veterans, press, and officials from six counties attended, which did not include Career Center Staff from Talbot, Newport, and Rogersville.

Employers recognized this year included VA Out patient Clinic-Morristown, East Tennessee Zinc, Berkline, Kia of Morristown, and Golden Corral. Those receiving appreciation certificate were the Chamber of Commerce of Claiborne, Jefferson, Grainger, Hamblen, and Cocke counties, Rich Products, and the Morristown Fire Department Honor Guard. Randy Kington, Master Chief Penton, and employers received vertical incline crystal.

Marketing representative C-Ann Chapman signed in guests and assisted staff. The open house was a tremendous effort with credit due to veterans representative Willard Eldridge and WIA and TDLWD staff. 


TN Career Center

Thirty veterans participated in the Hire Vets First Open House/Job Fair on
November 14 that was hosted by Randy Moss, vet rep for the TDLWD in the Columbia Career Center. Tom Bosheers, James Cupp, and Randy Moss greeted and signed in the vets as they entered the Caeer Center. They gave each vet a copy of the agenda, a copy of the proclamation, a U.S. flag, and a copy of the veterans’ transition guide. 

Randy welcomed the veterans and took them to the conference room where the refreshments were set-up. Maggie Serrano with the WIA staff and a prior U.S. Army veteran conducted her class on services/interviewing tips, then veterans were referred to participating employers.  The Career Center was proud to welcome Waggoners Trucking and Job1USA as participating employers. 

Judy Vick provided literature informing Veterans about current posting for the 2010 U.S. Census.  Also present were representatives from the local Daily Herald and the local radio station WKRM/WKOM.  Tracie Brown, a former U.S. Marine, assisted in decorating the lobby and the conference room. 




Jack Thompson (wine colored plaid shirt), DVOP in Paris for many years who is now retired, was a guest at the Paris Career Center’s open house for veterans.

TN Career Cente

Career Center manager Jane Gibson reports that 91 people registered at the reception desk on November 7, and 21 were veterans that attended the open house/reception. There were young, old, and in between. One of the honored guests was Jack Thompson and his wife Judy.  Both of them are veterans, and Jack was the DVOP in the Paris office for many years before he retired. 

The Career Center had a poster contest to honor the veterans. Ms. Kathy Thompson’s class from Paris Elementary School were the contestants.  First ($15.00 to Isaiah Bronaugh), 2nd ($10.00 to Kaitlyn Wright), and 3rd ($5.00 to William Wells) prizes were awarded. The prize money was furnished by Commercial Bank and Trust Company. Fifty-eight students participated in the contest. 

Ms Jeanie Oliver’s 4th grade 4H Club were the tour guides at the Career Center for the Open House. This was their community services project. Twenty-one students took part in this activity. Jane said the Career Center prepared goody bags for them and included Career Center brochures and other information about available services at the Career Center for them to take to their homes.  Pepsi Mid America furnished canned drinks, Moody Realty furnished bottled water, Knott's Foods furnished some refreshments and WIA helped with refreshments and other expenses.


4H Club members from Paris Elementary School served as tour guides, helped with registration, and handed out gifts for the veterans.



Career Center

Seven employers participated in the Job Fair.  Sixty-three clients signed in, 18 of these were veterans. 

All participating employers completed evaluations and made statements such as the following: “good turnout – steady flow of people”; “very organized set-up, good traffic flow, staff very friendly and attentive”; “great area”; “we would like to participate again”; “The facility and set-up were great – we look forward to working with you in the future”; “Excellent job! Thanks for the invite!”