by: Erica Bryant Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - This week, local veterans turned out for a Recruit Military job fair held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Devin Parker works with his hands at Poteet Printing Systems now, but when he first left the Navy, things were tough.
“I was broke and unemployed,” he said.
He spent six months unemployed before landing at Poteet, a change he was grateful for.
“It allowed me and my wife to get married, buy a house, buy a new car and not have to worry as much because we know the job’s going to be here tomorrow,” he said.
Thousands of veterans still cannot find employment, so an effort called Recruit Military hosts job fairs that encourage companies to hire veterans.
It was at a similar event where business owner Roger Poteet connected with Parker.
“Thinking about the service they’ve done for America, I felt it was important for me to reach out and see if there was a fit,” Poteet said.
Poteet said businesses that don’t seek out veterans miss a huge opportunity.
“They understand discipline, processes, rules and procedures, and it makes it very easy for them to fit in,” he said.
Parker said veterans’ skills are unmatched.
“When I was 19, I was in charge of hydraulic systems on submarines,” he said. “Our training is accelerated compared to college.”
He said the things he learned in a year in the Navy would take other people eight or 10 years to learn in a college setting.
He hopes more veterans have the chance to transition from military experience to civilian life without struggling.
“Roger realizes we are hard workers. We can be given a task; we can be given a job and don’t complain. It just gets done,” Parker said.