Photo by Steve Brooks

More than an obligation

Providing career opportunities for those who put aside their lives for military service seems like the right thing to do. But it’s not the only reason a corporation like Bank of America had a booth at the Road to Recovery career fair Tuesday afternoon in Orlando, Fla.

“Doing the right thing is part of it, but the bottom line is we’ve gotten some great candidates through veteran career fairs,” said Josh Renick, the staffing manager for Bank of America in Orlando. “We started to target veterans as a demographic a few years ago for a number of reasons, such as loyalty and transferability of their skills. But we also found very tangible skills as well that we wanted to go after, such as for positions in our tech group. That’s the reason why we’re here.”

More than a dozen such corporations and agencies had representatives at the fair, including The American Legion, Humana, General Motors, Disney, T-Mobile, the Central Intelligence Agency and Transportation Security Administration, and the National Institute of Health.

Nick Torres, who spent eight years in the Air Force before separating in September, came for the opportunity to speak one on one with a representative of Lockheed Martin. “It’s good to be able to interact with a person and ask some questions you can’t get answers to from the (frequently asked questions) on a website,” said Torres, who is still in the Air Force Reserves.

That’s also the concept that drew Army veteran Jamie Farnell, who did two tours of Iraq before leaving the military two years ago.

“It seemed like a great opportunity because you get a chance to put your face with your résumé,” Farnell said. “Computers generate thousands of résumés, so this gives you a chance to make it a little more personal.”