Military members go through a life that not many understand, an organizer of an upcoming job expo says. They are in charge of a unit or have to make decisions that could change lives.
But once that life ends, what's next?
For many, it's civilian work.
"Military members are given a tremendous amount of leadership training that a normal civilian never experiences," said Army veteran Nanette Mueller, a volunteer coordinator for the sixth Military, Veterans and Spouses Employment Expo this week. "And some of those experiences are very trying and difficult. Military members make decisions - high-level decisions - on a regular basis that affect lives."
The annual event features workshops and panel discussions Tuesday and Wednesday at Pikes Peak Community College before hosting a job fair Thursday at Mortgage Solutions Financial Center.
More than 170 employers and 15 resources will be on hand at the latter event, offering jobs and career advice in several fields - including health care, technology, customer service and law enforcement.
The expo comes at a time when the Colorado Springs job market is seeing its lowest unemployment rate since at least 1990 - 2.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this month.
"The historically low unemployment rate in our region continues to force employers to work harder to recruit top talent from a smaller job seeker pool," said Dennis Hisey, interim Executive Director of Pikes Peak Workforce Center, which is helping coordinate this week's expo. "Today, employers have access to the most refined candidate talent pool that we've had in the last five years - and that certainly applies to our veterans community also."
Last year, the center served 39,000 clients, including 10,000 veterans.
About 20 percent of Colorado veterans live in the Pikes Peak region, the center said in a statement, adding that 450 service members retire or separate from the region's five major military installations every month.
The veterans will join a competitive job field, organizers said.
Last month, the Workforce Center hosted a job fair at the Hotel Eleganté that attracted about 1,300 job seekers, including many veterans who were allowed to enter the event 90 minutes before the general public.
Gary Mustian of Add Staff Inc., an employment agency in Colorado Springs, said employers at the job fair were under pressure to fill position from a smaller talent pool.
For more information on the expo, visit mvee.org.