May 9, 2017
ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
U.S. Air Force veteran George Rivers is exploring his employment options.
By THOMAS GRILLO
LYNN — George Rivers got the bad news two weeks ago when Rent-A-Tool in Revere, his employer of nearly 19 years, closed.
The 54-year-old Danvers resident and U.S. Air Force veteran is worried about landing a new job.
“I’m thinking about becoming a tractor trailer driver,” he said. “But I’m exploring all my options.”
Rivers was one of dozens of vets who attended the Veterans & Community Job Fair at North Shore Community College (NSCC) Tuesday. More than 60 employers representing two dozen industries including General Electric Co., Raytheon, Boston Children’s Hospital, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as well as nonprofits, filled the school’s gym.
“We have something for everyone,” said Jermaine Williams, NSCC’s vice president of student affairs. “This truly is a collaborative effort.”
Francisco Urena, secretary of the state Department of Veterans’ Services, thanked all the employers for their commitment to empower and hire veterans.
“Don’t let this be the only day that we assist vets,” he said. “Let’s try to see what else we can do throughout the year to make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families.”
The Bay State has 365,000 veterans. As of last month, 3.8 percent are unemployed, among the lowest level in years, according to Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
John Gelfand, a U.S. Coast Guard vet, said he is studying at NSCC and is hoping to find an internship.
Robert Ross, 68, a Vietnam-era veteran who grew up in Lynn, was among the 90 workers laid off from Analogic Corp. in Peabody in 2015 after 44 years.
“If I hadn’t been laid off I’d be still working,” he said.
Marc Wilder, a recruiter from Comcast Corp., said the cable company plans to hire more than 1,000 workers in Greater Boston. Those jobs include technicians who do installation at homes and businesses, inside support, sales and management.
“We are always looking for the best talent and that includes people with passion, dedication, reliability, hard work, motivation and a desire to grow,” he said. “No one better represents those qualities than active military and veterans.”
Jason Juliano, a recruiter at Boston Children’s Hospital, said have 600 jobs available in Boston and its satellite locations. Among the jobs include nursing, clinical and lab work.
“There’s a lot of growth due to internal mobility in the hospital.” he said. “Veterans are among the best hires.”
Thomas Grillo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.