Members of the 4th Battalion Army Reserve Career Group speak to attendees at the Fort Jackson Education and Career Fair, Nov. 8.

Matching the right person to the right opportunity

By Robert Timmons, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

There is an old saying that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

Fort Jackson held a biannual Education and Career Fair Nov. 8 to help Soldiers and Family members join the workforce and find the best educational opportunities.

“Today, we try to match the right person to the right opportunity,” said Col. Mark Huhtanen, Fort Jackson deputy commanding officer. “Some 60 organizations are represented, looking for a new teammate, and they are rightfully expecting the best of the best. Our people: the family members and Soldiers for Life, they have seen what hard work and sacrifice means to a team. Whether it’s a literal fire team, the team we build in our Families, or the teams built out of friends met throughout a service career, teamwork is second nature to anyone affiliated to the Army.”

The goal is to “think about tomorrow, to make wise decisions and open doors that set you up for success,” Huhtanen remarked during the event.

The event, put on by the Army Continuing Education System and the Transition Assistance Program, is an opportunity where educators and employers “come in to showcase educational programs and hire Soldiers that are transitioning out of the Army,” said Carolyn Andrews, Fort Jackson’s transition assistance manager. The event was also open to Family members as well.

There were roughly 57 employers and 30 educational institutions represented at the event. Some of these included employers such as the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and Amazon, and schools such as the University of South Carolina and Liberty University.

Service members and their Families are good choices for employers and educators because of the discipline they learn in the service.

John Logan, with the main delivery company for a large furniture chain, said they were at Fort Jackson looking for the best candidates.

We feel that service members and Family members would be “able to offer more to our customers,” Logan said. When you are delivering furniture, you are going into people’s homes, you’re going into grandmas’ homes … so we want individuals that are respectful.”

Fort Jackson holds the fair twice a year – once in the spring and another in the fall.

“Go in open-minded about education and career opportunity, but keep in mind everything you have done to get yourself this far,” Huhtanen advised attendees at the event. “You are not finished making an impact and you have all the support of Fort Jackson and the Army to get what you need to continue being a success.”

For more information about Fort Jackson’s Army Continuing Education System and Transition Assistance Program call ACES at 751-5431, TAP at 751-4109, or stop by the ACES Building at 4600 Strom Thurmond Blvd.