Job seekers dressed to impress at the 24th Annual JEMS Job Fair

An active duty Sailor transitioning from military to civilian life inquires about a job opportunity at the 24th Annual JEMS Job Fair held at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam's Club Pearl on Sept. 21

Story and photo by Anna Marie General

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Public Affairs

Job seekers had the opportunity to network with recruiters from local businesses, mainland companies and government agencies at the 24th Annual Joint Employment Management System (JEMS) Job Fair held at Club Pearl, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) on Sept. 21.

With more than 108 companies recruiting for all types of positions from entry level to highly technical professional positions, more than 800 job seekers came dressed to impress in their business attire to find the job that suits them. Capt. Jeffrey James, commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, delivered opening remarks at the job fair.

Susan Hodge, JEMS director, said, “We had a successful turnout and companies were very impressed with the amount of job seekers that attended this year.”

Job seeker Jennifer Dietzler, an Army spouse who had just moved to Oahu, said, “I heard about the job fair through the Army Community Service (ACS) and was told that they had the event last year and that it was a great place to get your foot in the door to network.”

As job seekers filled out job applications and submitted resumes to companies of their interest, companies supplied informational material and networked with potential candidates to fill a job vacancy.

Amanda Tolentino and Kara Scammell of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) were one of the companies at the job fair who supplied information about the types of jobs they offer. “We find the job fair very beneficial because it helps us find candidates with a military background and gives the opportunity for those who are getting out of the military to look for a job in federal law enforcement,” Tolentino said.

Machinist Mate 2nd Class Dominic Moreno of the USS Key West is an example of one who is transitioning from military to civilian life. “I will be getting out of the Navy in a few weeks and plan to go back to school and get my degree in mechanical engineering and I’m here to look for a part-time job in between,” Moreno said.

The job fair was open to active duty personnel, Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, retirees, family members and reservists. “The main goal of the job fair is to connect the military jobseeker with local, mainland and international companies and agencies,” Hodge said.

With companies offering job vacancies in various fields, most technological fields look for candidates with a military background because most personnel possess a security clearance.

Tom Thornton, principal engineer of ActioNet, mentioned how effective the job fair has been for the company. “Being in the Information Technology (IT) industry, we have received a couple of resumes that have the potential of being hired,” Thornton said.

“Hiring people straight out of the military has its advantages because they know our customer which is the DoD, they have the current skill set that we need to service our customers, and most have established security clearances,” Thornton added.

After hearing about the job fair on a website, Nathan Kimura, a job seeker, prepared his resume for the event. “The job fair had a lot of bignamed companies that needed someone with a security clearance. I have a security clearance and skills in programming and system admin, I definitely submitted my resume to those companies and hope to find one with better pay,” Kimura said.

Keiki Sitters owner, Kathy Custer, explained the purpose of her company being at the job fair. “Since there are so many military families that move here and don’t know anybody, many of them are looking for child care, so we are looking for military spouses who would like to care for other people’s children,” Custer said.

The fair helped job seekers and employers network in a face-to-face environment, making this a successful event.

Another job seeker, Jocelyn Pasion of the Hawaii Air National Guard, said, “In this economy, it has been hard looking for a job, so the JEMS job fair really supports the military community and helps us out.”

Sponsored by Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Marine Corps Base Hawaii, JEMS assists military-affiliated members in finding employment in this high cost-of-living area through their job fairs and online job bank with more than 2,000 job listings in Hawaii. For more information, visit

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Category: News