, Muskogee, OK

February 8, 2013

Veterans: Employers want you

Hiring fair seeks to match vets with jobs

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Staff Sgt. Jeff Eller made his way through the Muskogee Civic Center on Thursday, learning about potential jobs and business opportunities.

Eller, part of the Wounded Warrior program, attended the  2013 Eastern Oklahoma Veteran and Military Hiring Fair and Business Opportunity Summit to network ahead of receiving his separation date.

“This being specifically focused on veterans makes me, and I’m sure for other veterans, feel needed, feel wanted,” he said. “It’s very helpful, and they’ve got a great turnout. I see lots of opportunities here for veterans.”

Patty Garner, programs manager at the Muskogee Workforce Center, said there were more than 100 vendors in attendance Thursday and they expected 400 to 500 veterans to attend in search of employment or business opportunities.

“We’ve been planning this since August, and it’s taken a lot of volunteers and a lot of hard work and time,” Garner said. “All for a very good cause.”

Vendors included colleges, both local and from other areas of the state, manufacturers, sheriff’s departments, and much more.

Workforce also set up an area at the Civic Center with laptops for veterans to search for jobs, fill out applications, even apply for forms they need.

The Wagoner County Sheriff’s Department was on hand talking to veterans, too.

Sheriff Bob Colbert said he has many veterans on his force and he appreciates their work ethic.

“Veterans always seem to make better employees,” he said. “They already have the discipline and training that really works for us. So, that’s why we came down today.”

Don Nichols, chapter commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, said the event turned out “great.”    

“This is an opportunity for veterans to find employment or business opportunities,” Nichols said. “Normally, we sponsor events that are one or the other so this one is a rather unique fair for us.”

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or