Military Career Fair Connects San Diego with Employers, Donates $25,000 to Military Charities | National Apartment Association

Military Career Fair Connects San Diego with Employers, Donates $25,000 to Military Charities


Contact: Mark Evans, 979/492-1150

SAN DIEGO, June 19, 2013 — The apartment industry put out the call and San Diego-area veterans, transitioning military and military spouses answered it to meet with apartment industry employers, interview for jobs and learn more about the industry as part of the 2013 National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) Military Career Fair held June 19 in San Diego.

NAAEI joined forces with the San Diego County Apartment Association (SDCAA) to conduct the career fair, which was held in conjunction with the 2013 NAA Education Conference and Exposition at the San Diego Convention Center. Twenty-five apartment companies, which have job openings across the United States, took part in the career fair and paid $1,000 each for booth space. As part of the career fair, NAAEI donated 100 percent of the exhibitor registration fees to two San Diego-area military charities. Representatives from the Armed Services YMCA San Diego and REBOOT were each presented with checks for $12,500.

“Many veterans aren’t aware of careers in the apartment industry and do not realize the wealth of jobs our industry offers,” said NAAEI President William Wollinger, CAPS, SHCM. “A veteran’s ability to multi-task, problem-solve and work well as a member of a team are invaluable to multifamily employers. Those are skills that cannot be taught, but people with military backgrounds have those skills in abundance.”

The career fair is part of an ongoing effort by NAA and NAAEI to reach out to veterans and military spouses to let them know about the many, diverse career opportunities available in the apartment industry. Veterans transitioning back to civilian life face some of the nation’s highest unemployment rates, and military spouses often find it difficult to find a career that is portable and can follow them when they move from military base to military base. Almost every city or town has an apartment community.

“Many people don’t see the struggles veterans often face when they try to re-enter the job market after serving our country,” said Capt. Paul Steffens, USN (Ret.), executive director of Armed Services YMCA San Diego. “Veterans themselves don’t always realize that they do have skills that transfer well to jobs in the civilian world, particularly the apartment industry.”

Veterans often bring with them a strong work ethic, important leadership skills and resourcefulness – all of which can be critical when working at an apartment community. The apartment industry also offers veterans - or other employees who may be new to the industry – numerous educational opportunities available through local NAA affiliated apartment associations, such as SDCAA, and NAAEI to help ease the transition into a new career.

“Transitioning veterans face daunting challenges and frequently have a difficult time finding their place in the civilian world, especially when it comes to finding employment,” said Maurice Wilson, Reboot president and a retired Navy master chief petty officer. “The apartment industry not only has jobs well-suited for veterans, but in many cases, apartment industry employers offer training to help veterans bridge any gaps they may have in their hard skills.”

Approximately 686,000 people work at apartment communities around the nation. Typical career paths include apartment maintenance, apartment leasing, apartment management and apartment supplier sales and service. The industry also employs people in a wide variety of jobs – from marketing and accounting to training and information technology. In addition, many employers offer training or provide educational support for employees taking industry-related courses.

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