ABC7 Salutes veterans getting help at large job fair in Pomona

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- At more than 105,000 square feet, Expo Hall Four is the largest exhibit hall at Fairplex in Pomona. But on Friday, there were no exhibits, just job opportunities for veterans.

More than 200 vendors were on hand to connect with veterans at the second annual L.A. County Job and Resource Fair.

"This is probably the biggest job fair that I've ever been to," said U.S. Marine Corps veteran Elliott McKenzie, who admitted that at first the gigantic job fair was a little daunting.

"There's so many companies, you get a little nervous, the sweat starts flowing because of the heat outside, so I can be intimidating for sure," he said.

For many veterans, the transition out of the armed forces can be difficult, especially for those who've served the country for so long.

"The only job I know is the military for the past 21 years," said Chief Petty Officer Lorenzo Pereyra, Jr. who's transitioning out of the military into the private sector. "A lot of lingo is different. The culture is different."

But veterans have a lot to offer.

"There is a lot of veteran talent that's going unused," said Jay Garcia, a team leader for the cybersecurity firm Fortinet. "Being in the military, there's a lot of relatable skills that a veteran has that employers are looking for, they work well under pressure, teamwork, discipline, confidence, initiative - those are good traits that every employer can use."

The event was hosted by L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who called it a one-stop shop for veterans, offering more than just jobs.

"We have mobile units, health units, dental care, optometry - all kinds of things being offered for free for the veterans," said Solis, who is trying to get homeless veterans into shelters and on their feet. "We want to turn the tide around, so we don't see these veterans out on the streets."
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