Vets on job-seeking mission throng 30th St. Station job fair

Hundreds of military members and veterans searching for jobs crowded a career fair hosted by Amtrak at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Thursday.

Companies ranging from Lockheed Martin to Capital One Bank collected resumes and spoke with veterans about how to apply.

Amtrak spokeswoman Rosalyn Collins said that companies like hers were looking to fill dozens of positions from entry-level jobs to management positions.

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“Military personnel, their backgrounds are huge,” said Collins. “We have officers who have been commanding troops of 100 or 300, the companies here today are looking for people who can manage, and that’s what they’ve done in the military.”

Recruiter Renee Nelson of Philadelphia Gas Works said hiring veterans has worked out well in the past.

“They served our country; they’ve put their lives on the line for us,” said Nelson. “And we feel that veterans make great candidates for the discipline and experience they’ve had in the military.”

Deborah Freiberg has served in the Army Reserves for 38 years, but is retiring in a few months. She has a background in software engineering and civil affairs, and she handed resumes to almost every company at the fair.

“I think absolutely it’s very helpful to have events like this,” said Freiberg. “This is just the sort of thing that brings in people, everyone from myself, people who are in uniforms that are still on duty, to people who have left but are looking for new careers.”

Collins said Amtrak has hosted career fairs like this before in New York, but this was the first in Philadelphia. She said it was so successful that another would likely follow.

“This morning at 11 o’clock there was a mob of people waiting to get in,” said Collins. “I think it was great.”

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