Military Stars Career Expo, "The Cure for the Common Job Fair," Launches to Assist 250,000 Transitioning Military Troops Find Civilian Employment

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First event in DCÂ?s prestigious Renaissance Mayflower Hotel rated a smashing success by blue chip employers and top transitioning military job seekers.

Over 400 transitioning military members and 23 employers connected last week at the Military Stars Career Expo in Washington, DC. Employers anticipate making job offers and hiring between 80-100 veterans they met at the event. "They asked me if I could start in two weeks", said John Clayton, a Navy Electronics Technician who is leaving the military after 8 years of service.

Career opportunities ranging from technical positions to operations management were available at this veteran only job fair organized by Military Stars, a company that was formed by military veterans to help bring together their fellow comrades leaving the service with the military friendly employers that want to hire them. Dave Suszko, a retired Air Force recruiter and Director of Candidate Services for Military Stars, emphasizes that “the transitioning military labor market is second only to recent college grads as the largest renewable labor pool in the nation. On average, 250,000 troops leave the service each year and enter the civilian work force. These are mature, talented professionals who instantly add value to companies that hire them.”

Given the size and quality of job candidates, most companies dedicate significant recruiting resources to recruiting transitioning military. Both national and local employers were impressed with the quality of military candidates at the Military Stars event. "This was a great event for us. We scheduled 10 people for follow-up interviews," said Marcia McCullough from American Systems Corporation, headquartered in northern Virginia and employing approximately 1400 engineers, analysts, and technicians.

In a crowded job fair space, Military Stars has formed a niche by presenting a casual yet professional atmosphere for the military, touting its “The Cure for the Common Job Fair” tag with a “no ties allowed” policy, relaxing music piped in and a social hour at the conclusion of the event. Victor Garlington, a military veteran who heads the Client Services Division for Military Stars, said, “The casual atmosphere permits employers to get to know candidates on a more personal level. This isn’t your typical stuffy job fair with nervous candidates and frazzled employers.”

More than half of the attending employers rated the Military Stars Career Expo better than other military job fairs they have attended. Bill Laughlin, a former Navy Pilot and CEO of Orion International, the largest military placement agency in the nation explains, "In my 14 years of being in the military placement business, I have never seen more qualified candidates at a job fair, than at this Military Stars event. It's sometimes difficult for employers to understand the military terminology on a candidates resume if they've never served in the military. It's even harder for them to see how that experience relates to civilian positions they have available. A venue like Military Stars gives them both the opportunity to get to know each other and find out if they are a good match to work together."

Rich McCormack, a former Naval Officer and Publisher of G.I. Jobs, the largest military magazine serving the employment needs of military transitioners and veterans, called the event the best he’s ever seen. “Most employers typically use a combination of print advertising, online job boards, placement firms and job fairs to find military and veteran talent. Each has its own strengths. These job fairs permit employers to meet candidates face to face, which is an important component. This particular job fair (career expo) produced exceptional candidates and was very well organized.”

Military Stars, plans to host eight more events over the next twelve months, concentrating on three areas with both high military populations and growing employers: Jacksonville, San Diego, and Washington, DC. Dave Suszko explains, "Having been in the military myself and making the transition to civilian life, I know how difficult it is to get the opportunity the meet with a company face-to-face. That's why we provide this format and we look forward to continuing to help our veterans and the employers that want to hire them." The veterans are also thankful for the help too. Sarah Gallagher an Army veteran, making the change from military life to civilian life says, "It’s nice to know that people want to hire us. I met with thirteen employers at this event and I hope that at least one will hire me. If not, I'll be at the next event."

For more information, visit the Military Stars web site at

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Vina Fischer
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