View Full Version : Job fair offers welcome home to the troops

08-18-03, 09:11 AM
Job fair offers welcome home to the troops

By Lola Sherman

August 16, 2003

OCEANSIDE Marines were a special target of job recruiters at the Welcome Home the Troops North County Diversity Career Fair held here yesterday.

One of those recruiters seeking Marines was the Army.

It was part of Staff Sgt. Andre C. Lienhard's job to persuade Marines that instead of re-enlisting in the Corps, they should try his branch of the service for better pay and faster promotions.

Elizabeth Beyer of Viasat Inc. was interested in Marines as well. They usually already have security clearances, Beyer said, and her Carlsbad satellite communications firm does a lot of contract work with the Department of Defense.

Besides, she said, Marines often have the technical training needed for her company's type of work.

The job fair was put on by The Diversity Group of San Diego.

The nonprofit organization has held such events in Oceanside before, but never with a Welcome the Troops theme and never in conjunction with Camp Pendleton and the city, said Oran Brown, its development director.

The group's name may stress diversity, Brown said, but the definition of that word includes women and mature workers as well as racial and ethnic minorities. The job fairs are open to everyone, he said.

And every age and ethnicity appeared to be attracted to the event in the Civic Center Community Room, although there did not appear to be a lot of Marines early on.

About two dozen people milled around the 19 tables at any particular time during the three-hour program.

Recruiters offered jobs ranging from sheriff's deputy to a "quality-control management specialist" for the new Sprinter passenger rail service planned between Oceanside and Escondido.

"I'm looking for an immediate opening," Von Simmons from El Cajon said. "A lot of places have hiring freezes. I'm searching for something with security and benefits. I have a background in human resources."

David Davong from Escondido has about decided to change professions.

A software engineer, he's been out of work for the past year and is still looking for a job in his field. But he's also taking classes at California State University San Marcos toward becoming a high-school mathematics teacher and has been substitute teaching in the meantime.

Charles Linderman of Vista turned in his application to the Western Truck School of Spring Valley for its four-week course in truck driving. It's free to veterans like him.

One company, GNT Financial of La Mesa, was not there to recruit. Representative Wade Cutler said it wanted to show jobless people how to hold onto their homes, even refinance them, while out of work.

Lola Sherman: (760) 476-8241; lola.sherman@uniontrib.com