Job fair tailored for military veterans held in San Diego

Posted at 6:09 PM, Nov 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-10 21:09:51-05

SAN DIEGO - Hundreds of San Diego military veterans spent Thursday looking for a fresh start, hoping to find it at a job fair tailored just for them at the Valley View Casino Center.

Steve Hamilton is one of those veterans. He spent 20 years in the Navy traveling the world.

"The Great Barrier Reef, went deep sea fishing, golfing in almost every country that people dream of," Hamilton said.

However, life isn't as adventurous back home. Now, Hamilton just needs a job in a big hurry. He's been unemployed for five months and is living off his Navy pension.

"It's about $1,200 a month," he said. "We're stretching."

So on Thursday, Hamilton joined hundreds of other veterans for the job fair, hosted by the Employment Development Department. Lockheed Martin, Kaiser Permanente and many law enforcement agencies were among the organizations looking to hire, and they'll still have positions open long after the fair.

"I can drive all down the road and there's all kinds of construction, and I'm like, 'Put me in coach!' I can do that,'" Hamilton said. "But they want the experience and education."

There are also opportunities to pick up that that education, as some of the businesses hiring will train on the job.

"IT, electrician, manufacturing, these different positions, we're looking to get somebody in, get them trained, get them paid while they're training, and get them experience at the same time," said David Silva of the Employment Development Department.

Hamilton, now out of the Navy for 20 years and mostly doing handy work, said this time he wants something off his feet.

"A management-type job where I'm not breaking my back every day," he said.

And with some leads, that job could have been just around the bend at Valley View Casino Center's winding concourse.