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New Vet Takes On Challenge Of Finding Civilian Career At Job Fair

U.S. Marine Veteran Patrick Cagas meets with employers in Oceanside, Nov. 11,...

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: U.S. Marine Veteran Patrick Cagas meets with employers in Oceanside, Nov. 11, 2019.

Patrick Cagas was in a two-piece suit, tie and shiny dress shoes. He was dressed to impress, just like the invitation said.

Three weeks ago, he was a Marine at Camp Pendleton. Thursday, Cagas was among the dozens of veterans who showed up to the North County Coastal Career Center in Oceanside for the "Honor a Hero, Hire A Vet" job fair.

"I worked at Camp Pendleton most of my time and I was more in the warehouse areas," Cagas said, adding that he focused on "supply and logistics and heavy equipment."

Cagas talked with at least four employers at Thursday's job fair. He believes his training as a combat engineer officer will help him land a job in construction or working with military contractors.

"I’m ready to start tomorrow if you have the positions available," he said.

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U.S. Navy veteran George Haith now works for the state Employment Development Department helping connect former military members to employers.

"When somebody comes in we’re able to help them with their resume, connect them with an employer and they get hired," Haith said. "That’s the most gratifying feeling you can have."

Cagas knows generally what he wants to do, but says he has an open mind.

"I’m always open to learning new things," he said.

The next "Honor a Hero, Hire A Vet" job fair is Dec. 18 at the South Metro Career Center near downtown.

Listen to this story Matt Hoffman.

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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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