MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The veterans career fair has become a regular event in Minnesota on the first Wednesday after the Fourth of July.

And on this Wednesday, it featured 160 employers.

Military personnel and veterans can get job information, attend seminars, and learn about many careers. The event is organized by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Perkins Specialized Transportation was at the job fair to find good workers, because they move really big things.

“1.5 million pounds, 192 tires on the ground,” said Jason Wolterman, a human resources executive at Perkins.

Like all the companies at the fair, Perkins knows veterans bring a lot to the job.

“Fantastic workers, because they’re used to putting in a hard day’s work for an honest day’s pay,” Wolterman said. “Really, that’s what we try to give them as well.”

According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, the unemployment rate is 4.2 percent for veterans. That’s better than the 4.5 percent for the general population.

“In general, veterans make such great employees,” Wolterman said. “Employers in Minnesota are starting to understand that, and that’s why you see a lower unemployment rate.”

Jeron Ford is still serving in the Navy, but he will need a civilian job someday. He is an aviation electronics technician.

“With all the military experience that we receive, I’m trying to figure out what would be the best option for me when I get out of the Navy,” he said.

And if a veteran needs a suit for job interviews, this event has that covered as well, with suits for soldiers.

“We collected over 1,500 suits, for the soldiers,” said Jimmy Collier, of Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. “And we thought today would be a great opportunity.”

The veterans can try the suits on, and if they fit, they can just walk out with them.

Organizers say many of the career fair jobs come from companies with 200 to 500 employees.


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