Area veterans seeking employment and benefits will have the opportunity to do some networking this weekend.
Saturday, the Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency will host an employment and benefits counseling job fair at the Jamestown National Guard Armory.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will include free admission for all veterans and their dependants. According to Mike Rauh, veterans services officer, the purpose of the job fair is two-fold.
"I probably see at least one veteran every other day that's looking for a job," said Rauh. "And (the job) fair is another way to catch vets because, if they don't have a job, obviously they don't have (Veterans Affairs) health care. It's mostly about making contacts, and giving them time to come in for an appointment to see if we can get them a job or some health care. So, if we can kill two birds with one stone, all the better."
Rauh alluded to assisting the spouses of veterans in finding health care benefits.
"If you have a (spouse) and kids, you've got to have two incomes. That's why we try to include spouses," he said. "Sometimes, there are also survivor's benefits for spouses of deceased veterans."
Rauh said several area businesses and organizations will have representatives at the fair, including: Jamestown Business College, Jamestown Community College, the NYS Police Department, the National Guard, The Resource Center, Schwan's Food Service, Chautauqua Opportunities, Chautauqua Works and Home Depot. There are some participants for which Rauh is still awaiting confirmation.
"Any employer can call right up until the day of and we'll find a table for them," he said.
Business owners who are not currently scheduled to attend the job fair can reach the Veterans Service Agency at 661-8255 to reserve a free table.
The Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency is professionally staffed by veterans who stand ready to offer a wide variety of services to veterans of all wars, conflicts, and peacetime service. Its mission is to assist veterans, dependants and surviving spouses in the completion of applications for federal and state benefits for areas involving pensions, disability compensation, home and education loans, grants, burial allowances, scholarships, memorial ceremonies and all other services that need professional assistance and guidance.
For more information about the agency or the job fair, call the Jamestown office at 661-8255, the Dunkirk office at 363-3842 or visit the Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency on Facebook.