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We still have an active weather pattern for the weekend with locally heavy thunderstorms developing with daytime heating both days of the weekend. Some of the storms will produce gusty winds and frequent lightning strikes.
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Veterans job fair draws hundreds of vets
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
Veterans all across Texas got a shot at a new job Thursday. Texas Workforce Solutions held its second annual "Red, White and You!" veterans job fair. Their goal is to connect veterans, and their spouses, with employers. There were 28 fairs around the state. The "Red, White and You!" fair at the Beaumont Civic Center today attracted about 300 veterans.
One veteran at the fair, Rodney Jordan, finished 7 years of service in the U.S. Army this August. He says transitioning from military life to civilian life has been hard.
"It felt good at first, and now I'll be honest with you, I miss it a lot. Every day I wake up I miss it. I'd like to go back to my buddies, but now I'm out here in the real world pursuing a different career," said Jordan.
Another veteran, Darryl Rhodman, says he finished serving last year.
"I'm back home, I'm retired, and I'm fishing trying to find work, and it hasn't been easy, but you got to continue to try and keep your head up," said Rhodman.
Yeeyan Segovia served in the U.S. Navy. She thinks the veteran job fair is a good idea.
"You know, we put our time and our committment to serving the country, and once we get out, sometimes it's really hard for us to find a job and to be placed into the work force," said Segovia. "Getting the companies to understand some of our skills and translating that into the civilian world, it's very important."
The veteran representative for Texas Workforce Solutions, Robert Foster, agrees.
"Coming back and trying to find a job is pretty hard," said Foster, "but in Southeast Texas we welcome them. We have lots of employers here and they prefer hiring veterans."
Danny Prosperie with the Beaumont Electrical JATC says veterans are ideal employees.
"Vets are the perfect candidate for our program, they already understand commitment, responsibility, authority. They excel so much better than the general person coming into our workforce," said Prosperie.
The executive director of Texas Workforce Solutions, Larry Temple, says when it comes to jobs, Texas is the place to be.
"We're adding jobs every month in Texas, our economy is booming, and we want veterans to be a part of that miracle we have in Texas," said Temple.
He says the petrochemical industry is growing along the Gulf Coast, and right now Texas is seeing "almost 25 billion dollars worth of petrochemical refineries that are going to be built over the next five years."
"So those are tens of thousands of jobs," said Temple.
Veterans at the fair say they are grateful for the job opportunities this fair provides.
"I think it's great and I think it's something really needed. I think this country can pride itself on how it treats its vets and military," said Jordan.
"I just want an opportunity. That's all I want," said Rhodman. "I don't want anybody to take care of me. I do have abilities, I have skills, and I'm mature, I'm older and I got patience. That's all I'm asking for is a chance. That's all. No more than you'd give any other American."
Temple says last year's "Red, White and You!" job fair resulted in about 3,000 veterans being hired across Texas.