Paychecks for Patriots

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By Jim Thompson | 315-4445 | @Jimtnwfdn |

FORT WALTON BEACH — Nine government contractors — with nearly 200 job openings that need to be filled immediately — will be participating in Tuesday’s Paychecks for Patriots job fair at CareerSource Okaloosa Walton.

The event is scheduled from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the CareerSource office at 409 Racetrack Road NE.

The local Paychecks for Patriots event is part of a statewide effort of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida National Guard, the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs and CareerSource Florida to connect veterans with job opportunities.

The nine local government contractors at Paychecks for Patriots are Torch Technologies, which provides research, development and engineering services to the Department of Defense and has a facility in Shalimar; Reliance Test and Technology in Crestview, which provides engineering and technical support to Eglin Air Force Base’s Test and Training Range; Odyssey Systems in Niceville; Jacobs, a technical services firm; VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering; B3H Corp., a management consulting firm in Lake Lorraine; Micro Systems, Inc., an unmanned vehicle technology firm in Fort Walton Beach, Bevilacqua Research Corp., which has facilities in Niceville and Smartronix, an information technology company in Niceville.

All nine employers participating in Tuesday’s local Paychecks for Patriots are “in desparate need of filling every position immediately,” according to Patrick Arendell, the veterans employment representative with CareerSource Okaloosa Walton.

According to Arendell, with the current unemployment rate in Okaloosa County at 2.8 percent, “it is becoming more difficult for these government contractors to fill the positions from the local career seekers.”

“Obviously, this is a good problem to have,” Arendell said in an email, “but … working with government contractors assisting them with filling their needs … is becoming more of a challenge every day.”



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