Clearfield County Veteran expo helps transition into civilian lifestyle

Clearfield, Clearfield County, Pa. - Kevin Condon and Colby Sharrow know the struggles many veterans face trying transition from military to civilian lifestyles.

"Being in the national guard it's a little difficult [to find jobs]," explains Condon. "Depending on what skills you have and what you're looking to go into it can be hard transition," adds Sharrow.

The two are active National Guardsmen  working side by side as military diesel mechanics. However, on Tuesday they had resumes in hand ready for a change at the Clearfield County Veterans Expo.

"A lot of what we do are servicing equipment, changing fluids and changing tires," explains Condon.

Employers say veterans don't realize all the skills the military provides them, allowing them to be valuable employees.  Paul Slosser the Branch Manager at Anderson Equipment Company was sitting at one of the many tables set up at the Clearfield County Fair Ground's expo I building. "[The] Military, they work under strict rules, that's  what our company survives on. We like the quality of these people," explains Slosser. 

Like many veterans, Condon says he has  more than just himself to worry about when finding a new job, "I have two kids and I'm leaving them and coming back." 

The pair never thought college could be an option, explains Sharrow, "I wouldn't mind going back to school but it's hard with working full time and then I started taking on the bills."

Multiple universities were on hand showing them options to make a return to the classroom. Latrobe Barenitz, Assistant Director of Admissions at Clarion University says one of the best options for vets could be online learning. "The online platform helps to ease them back into education. It also helps them because they have family and they need to work," says Barenitz. 

The two vets say the expo has helped their views on what's possible. Condon expecting to start a new path from the days events. "There's actually quite a few people here I'm going to be contacting and trying to get a new career out of this and I might even go to college."

This is the Clearfield County Veteran Affairs office's first vet expo. Officials say if this one is successful, they hope to turn it into an annual event.


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