CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Employment opportunities for local veterans brought dozens out in Chicopee Friday when the Chicopee Knights of the Columbus opened their doors for the sixth annual military and veteran’s career fair.

Organizers said the event worked to support the pillars of veterans’ services such as sustainable housing, long term employment, and mental health services. Many employers were looking to hire veterans because of the qualities they bring to the table.

“This is a very unique event here in western Massachusetts. A lot of veterans don’t know what they don’t know so you come in you have a chance to go face to face with your veterans service officer, with the VA team, with local federal service providers, they get a better understanding of the services that are out there. That’s in addition to the hundred of jobs we have here today,” said said Christian Deluzio, Veteran’s Inc. Western Massachusetts Team Lead.

“Veterans are released with disciplines that serve any business well,” said Ken Desmaris, Director of Business Development, Snap Chef Culinary Staffing company.

Businesses present at the event looking for employees included UMass, Amazon, and Sullivan Paper. Retired US officer Jacob Olsen is out of the army two weeks. He’s now putting together his civilian life.

“I’m definitely overwhelmed. The military tries to do as much say they can to give you all the information before you get out, but ultimately it’s your job to process it all,” said Olson
Olsen added that his was pleasantly surprised at the resources available and although has already secured a job, he did get some additional leads.

If you are veteran and you are looking to learn more about what’s out there, it’s start with your local veterans service officer.

Some companies that were at the career fair included:

  • Amazon
  • MGM Springfield
  • Sullivan Paper
  • PTI Industries
  • UMass/ Amherst
  • Mass Mutual
  • US Tsubaki Automotive
  • Callaway Golf

Service providers included:

  • The VA
  • Veterans Inc
  • MassHire representatives
  • Springfield Vet Center
  • Disabled American Veterans Chapter