Okla. National Guard Holds Job Fair to Lower Soldier Unemployment

The Oklahoma National Guard reports more than 200 soldiers in the area are unemployed, underemployed, or curious about other job options after returning from overseas in March. That's why it held a job fair at the Sand Springs Armed Forces Reserve Center Saturday.

"They had a very tough deployment, and they came back in March," said Lt. Col. Max Moss. "A lot of the soldiers went back to work right away. Some of them took some time off to spend some time with family and to deal with some issues from the deployment. What we're finding now is most of the soldiers have found work, but we still have a significant number that are either underemployed or unemployed."

About 25 employers from all over the state came to the event to discuss job openings with soldiers.

"We feel like the veterans that we've hired in the past, we've had very good success with them," said Melton Truck Lines, Inc. representative, Dece Bringham. "They have wonderful worth ethic, and we have really appreciated everything they've done."

Channel 8 spoke with a soldier who got a job in construction after returning from deployment. Based on the leadership skills he acquired in the infantry, he wanted to explore new job options.

"If a solider has a task put ahead of him, he knows how to execute and get it done," said Mason Barrett, 22. "No questions asked, we're going to get it done. I think that's what employers are looking for."

The job fair ran from 9:30 a.m. to about 2 p.m.

Soldiers that could not attend may visit the Oklahoma National Guard Employment Coordination Program's website for more information about jobs.