The Rhode Island Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) will host the state’s largest job fair for military personnel, veterans and their dependents on Friday, April 26.
According to Brian LaFauci, the program manager for Rhode Island ESGR, organizers are expecting a larger turnout for the free event due in part to the support of Providence Mayor Angel Tavares and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.
The ESGR hosts an average of one job fair every six months with 60 to 70 employers present. LaFauci said there are typically 200 attendees, but he thinks there will be more at this event, which will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“In terms of our reach, it is going to be quite larger because of the support of the two mayors,” said LaFauci in a phone interview yesterday.
According to ESGR’s press release, ESGR “host very successful Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Job Fairs, but this event has a much wider scope, and greater potential for both employer companies and our military.”
LaFauci explained that ESGR feels it is important to host job fairs of this nature because unemployment rates for military personnel and veterans are even lower than the average rate.
He also said the financial stability of dependents is seen as equally important because “taking away the financial concern piece for dependents provides a stronger support system at home for Guardsmen and Reservists.”
While there is pre-registration, LaFauci said no individual would be turned away at the door. The registration just helps ESGR anticipate how many staff members will be needed for registration tables.
Employers present at the job fair will come from industries across the board and many employers will work to find potential employees positions tailored to their different skill sets.
Employers include prominent Rhode Island companies such as Alex and Ani, Amica, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cardi’s, Cranston Public Schools, G-Tech, Family Services of Rhode Island and Omni Hotels.
LaFauci explained that not only have many employers participated in past years, but many have also developed specific processes to recruit and hire those from military backgrounds. While certain positions may require specific certification, he said many companies hire military members, give them a job with salary and benefits, and then provide training for necessary certification along the way.
“They could go out and hire other people, but they are choosing to hire veterans or military members for one reason or another,” said LaFauci.
In addition to the job fair, the event will feature a roundtable discussion on military employment, featuring Tavares, Fung, Senator Jack Reed, Paul Harrington, director of Labor Studies at Drexel University, and more. According to the press release, the discussion “is designed to help focus information, and provide an opportunity for employers and veteran and military spouse job seekers to meet and match needs with skills sets.”
Job fair sponsors include Workforce Solutions of Providence and Cranston, ESGR, Hero 2 Hired, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, and the cities of Providence and Cranston.
Pre-registration will be available until April 19 by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 680-8570.
For additional information on all Rhode Island job fairs, visit www.providenceri.com and click on Jobs Now.