Pikes Peak Workforce Center tries to put veterans to work

GS, Colo. — Colorado Springs is at a 2.6 percent unemployment rate, which is about half the national unemployment rate of 4.2 percent, according to the Department of Labor.

The Pikes Peak Workforce Center hosts four big job fairs a year.

On Wednesday, the job fair sponsored by USAA saw about 1,000 job seekers come through the door.

Lawrence Cole, a veteran, was just one of the many veterans seeking a job at the job fair.

“Quite a few people lot of opportunities,” said Cole.

The goal of the fair is to encourage companies to hire veterans.

“Veterans are some of the most well prepared job seekers we have in our community,” said Felicia Barbera, Business Liaison with the Business Relations Group at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. “We want them to stay here, we want our community to be the ones to benefit from this amazing talent.”

That sediment is something Rose Walker, the recruiting manager at Peak Vista Community Health Centers, believes in as well.

“These are folks who have served our country and they are coming back and looking for an opportunity to transition from military service to civilian,” said Walker.

She knows the transition back into civilian life can be hard.

“Just because somebody has PTSD, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t fit for a position, it’s going to depend on the requirement and depend on what kind of accommodations they need,” said Rose Walker. “But, they’ve got a lot to offer and we need to give them an opportunity to have meaningful employment.”

With over 120 employers, it’s something veterans and active military alike don’t want to pass up.

“I’m going to try and hit every booth,” said Cole.

Army Private Gian Szal spoke to a woman at the Department of Corrections and thinks he’s got a good lead.

“She’s really hopeful that I have the necessary skills and qualifications that they are really looking for. Because we have that sense a team and family, I would really excel at being a correction officer.”

One goal that both Cole and Szal have in common was they wanted to find jobs that will let them stay in Colorado Springs.

Peak Vista Community Health Centers traditionally has hired the most veterans from job fairs in the past.

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