Latest News

Not your typical job fair

Job Candidate Francis Tekoh, who will transition out of the Army National Guard this month.

The inaugural Career Transition Showcase debuted Thursday, April 25 at the Live! Casino and Hotel providing nearly 100 transitioning military, military spouses and recent veterans with the opportunity to interview with a pool of 25 prominent Maryland employers.

The Fort Meade Alliance event was in partnership with the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation and the Howard County Workforce Development.

Prior to the showcase, job candidates received support through resume reviews and interview workshops, and were matched with employers based on their preferences and the employers’ preferences.

“We’ve definitely had a diversity of candidates in their skill sets and abilities,” said April Hurst, a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Lockheed Martin. “Even if candidates did not fit what we were looking for, we were able to identify alternative opportunities and take those resumes back to our colleagues.”

Representatives from Tensley Consulting

“We’ve talked to some really great candidates with really applicable skills, which doesn’t always happen at a job fair,” said one representative from Tensley Consulting. “It’s a new way of doing a job fair, and the resumes we received were really impressive.

Each job candidate was originally scheduled to interview with up to four employers throughout the day. However, most candidates were able to meet with many more.

“What was super nice is that I was able to add on to my original schedule,” said Cynthia Aquino, a job candidate whose spouse is in the Army. She noted that even employers without immediate opportunities for her were able to provide her with valuable connections.

The Career Transition Showcase resulted in multiple job offers from organizations and companies including the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Fort Meade Alliance Executive Committee member Doreen Harwood; Tim O’Ferrall, General Manager of the Fort Meade Alliance and Anthony Woods, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.

Francis Tekoh, who will transition out of the Army National Guard this month and received multiple job offers that day, said meeting with companies in person made a significant difference in his job search.

“Online, a lot of the time it feels like my skills aren’t appreciated,” he said. “But today I really felt like my skills and talents were well appreciated by the people I met. Most of the conversations I had went way past getting a job — I got to show my true personality and who I really am.”

“Our metric for success was that conditional job offers be given today, and they were,” Doreen Harwood, FMA Education and Workforce Committee Chair, said. “Employers seemed to be pleased with the quality of the candidates, which means that the prep sessions and resume matching were as valuable as we thought.”

During the event, Valarie Austin, President of Vauboix Publishing LLC, and Denise Nooe from the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, held breakout sessions to aid service members in navigating their transition to civilian roles.

Both employers and job candidates expressed their satisfaction with the event, and said that they were excited to see how the program will evolve in the future.

Valarie Austin, President of Vauboix Publishing LLC speaks during a breakout session.

“I almost didn’t come, because I thought it was going to be a typical hiring fair where there are ten people vying to get one company’s attention,” shared one job seeker. “Instead, I made connections with four companies, and one has emailed me already. I’m going back to my friends who decided not to come today and telling them that they missed out, and they better come next time.”

The event was also attended by Fort Meade Garrison Commander COL Michael Sapp and Maryland Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Woods.

“The Fort Meade Alliance Career Transition Program is more than a job fair; it’s an opportunity for veterans to showcase their skills to Maryland’s top employers,” said Woods. “With 8 out of 10 of the most sought-after skills and an impressive 61% holding advanced degrees, veterans bring unmatched expertise to the workforce.”

“Their unwavering loyalty speaks volumes about their commitment to service, making them invaluable team members, not just employees,” Woods added. “Recognizing that a veteran’s transition is the most critical time of their lives, this program serves as a vital bridge to their next chapter.”