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Job fair offers hand to veterans

Army National Guard veteran Robert Faulkner Peorispeaks with representative from Kelley Services during Hiring Our Heroes job fair for veterans

Army National Guard veteran Robert Faulkner of Peoria speaks with a representative from Kelley Services during the Hiring Our Heroes job fair for veterans on Friday, August 3, 2012, at Waubonsee Community College's Sugar Grove campus. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 6, 2012 6:21AM

SUGAR GROVE — Auroran Francisco Garcia, who recently returned from serving in the Army in Afghanistan, is looking for some more stable work.

Garcia attended Friday’s Hiring Our Heroes job fair at Waubonsee Community College — happy to find a job fair geared specifically toward veterans.

“That’s one of the main reasons I signed up,” he said.

Veterans of all ages and branches of the military flocked to the Academic and Professional Center at Waubonsee Community College for the fair, which included 75 potential employers as well as resumé reviews and mock interviews for veterans looking to hone their job interviewing skills. Hiring Our Heroes, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is a national program that is hosting about 400 fairs around the country.

Some of the bigger employers at the fair Friday were Prudential, Caterpillar and FedEx.

“There’s every type of employee here with every type of job opening,” said Marady Leary with Hiring Our Heroes.

Dion Squalls of Aurora sat in the lobby looking through some of his paperwork, preparing for the fair. The ex-Marine said he is looking for work, and a job fair focusing on veterans appealed to him.

“I just wanted to take advantage of my professional status,” he said.

Waubonsee Dean of Counseling and Support Kelli Sinclair said she is excited about the fair, and the collaboration with the U.S. Chamber to work with veterans. “Helping us serve the community in this way has been an honor and a privilege.”

The job fairs are an excellent way both the older and younger generation of veterans to find ways to re-enter the work force, Sinclair said.

Waubonsee will host another job fair — for the community at large — from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 14 at its Academic and Professional Center.

Winfield resident and Air Force veteran Bill Abernethy checked out a veteran’s job fair in DuPage County last month and wanted to see Waubonsee’s. “I’m just impressed with the professionalism,” he said.

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