Veterans can find employment

PALM BAY – Paychecks for Patriots began as a recruiting tool for veterans seeking employment and has quickly become a way for employers to actively seek veterans for jobs at their companies.

A job fair will be hosted by CareerSource Brevard and will take place at the Tony Rosa Community Center at 1502 Port Malabar Boulevard NE in Palm Bay on Nov. 8 beginning exclusively for veterans at 10 a.m. The doors will open to veterans one hour before the regularly scheduled job fair and will run until 2 p.m.

“This event will have 50 desirable employers from aviation, medical and manufacturing to construction,” Wilfredo Quiles, disabled veteran outreach specialist for CareerSource, said.

In 2017, a smaller venue was used and held 32 employers and 330 job seekers. This year will seek to improve on the process that veterans take part in to find jobs.

“Veterans, in general, have many skill sets and are very adaptive to change, hence their employment opportunities increase with the number of employers supporting the event,” Mr. Quiles said. “There are many employers who are looking for part time employees only, and many older veterans are looking for part time work to subsidize their retirement or Social Security.”

Beginning in 2012, Paychecks for Patriots aimed to provide employment services for military service personnel, especially younger job seekers, during a high unemployment rate for veterans.

“This event has helped hundreds of Veterans and family members find employment and changed their quality of life,” Mr. Quiles said.

U.S. Army veteran Elwin Santiago has had experiences with the difficulty of finding employment through online application processes.

“We are told to visit their websites and submit applications, but follow-through applications submitted from employers is infrequent.” Mr. Santiago said.

Mr. Santiago served during the Vietnam War as a Huey helicopter mechanic. He worked for the Department of the Navy and the United States Naval Academy for more than 20 years before relocating to Melbourne.

“After relocating, [I] achieved a master’s degree in business from Florida Institute of Technology, but I haven’t found employment locally,” Mr. Santiago said. “Most of the similar jobs [sic] want a secret clearance prior to hire and my clearance expired during educational pursuit.”

Currently, due in large part to overall employment levels on the rise, more veterans are obtaining jobs than in the previous five years. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, a co-sponsor of Paychecks for Patriots, released last month’s job report on Sept. 21, with a seasonal un-adjusted unemployment rate of only 3.7 percent in August.

The on-site interview and hiring process will benefit older veterans who may not be a technologically savvy when it comes to filing out applications online. The face-to-face interviewing also provides a more personable process.

For more information visit or contact Wilfredo Quiles at (321) 394-0584