- Written by Megan Joyce Megan Joyce
Maribeth Moore isn’t a veteran, but she roamed through the patriotically colored floor space of the Veterans’ Expo & Job Fair on Nov. 15 with a purpose in mind.
Moore, of Lancaster, didn’t attend the event for herself, but on behalf of a friend—a Marine veteran who was home with a sick child and could not make the event.
“He told me what he was looking for, so I came out to get the information for him,” Moore said.
Like too many of Lancaster County’s 33,000 veterans, Moore’s friend is struggling. He asked her to pick up information on both jobs and benefits. “It’s hard to get benefits nowadays,” Moore said, “and it’s rough for him.”
Hundreds of current military personnel of all ages, veterans, and their friends and families attended the third annual Veterans’ Expo & Job Fair at Spooky Nook Sports, Manheim.
Composed of more than 100 local exhibitors, the day was a two-for-one event presented by OLP Events; admission was free to the public.
The Veterans’ Expo connected active and retired military members with the benefits and resources available to them through local businesses and organizations, such as the Pennsylvania State Headquarters VFW and the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
In addition, personnel attended from educational institutions, veterans’ volunteer groups, and a range of businesses that offer discounts or services for military members.
Representatives from the Recorder of Deeds office were on hand to help honorably discharged Lancaster County veterans enroll in the free Thank a Vet veterans discount program.
At the Job Fair, veterans and employers met face-to-face to discuss available positions at the Job Fair.
A 27-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Manuel Luciano circulated the event floor with an eye on possible opportunities ahead.
“After many years in what I currently do, I’m looking for a future job—a change of pace,” Luciano, of Manheim, said.
Industries present included finance, automotive, warehouse, medical services, administrative/clerical, engineering, management, sales, manufacturing, retail, computer tech/IT, transportation, and others.
In the Job Fair’s Resource Center, Pennsylvania CareerLink of Lancaster County reviewed resumes and discussed their programs and services for job seekers.
Humana offered guidance on veterans’ Medicare options; veterans thinking of started their own businesses received advice from the Small Business Administration; and photographer Steven Francis took free headshots for job-seeking veterans to use with their social-media profiles.
Peter Wise, an Air Force veteran from Lancaster, liked the idea of speaking with employers who were interested in hiring veterans.
“And being a veteran, I was interested in maybe the preferential consideration I would get for coming out,” Wise said.
The Veterans Expo & Job Fair will return to Central Pennsylvania Thursday, April 20, 2017, at the York Expo Center, York.
For more information, call (717) 285-1350 or visit www.veteransexpo.com.