The Cal State Dominguez Hills’ (CSUDH) Human Services Student Association (HSSA) will be spending part of their winter break doing one of the key principles of their major, helping others. In particular, HSSA members will be helping to connect veterans with the right employers during the Veterans Job Fair at the StubHub Center on Jan. 3, 2016.
The job fair, which takes place from noon to 5 p.m., is being coordinated by the StubHub Center in conjunction with the Marine Corp Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, a national high school football camp series and bowl game. Kick-off takes place at 6 p.m., immediately following the job fair. Both the bowl game and the job fair, as well as parking, are free.
Michelle Padilla, HSSA president, believes the job fair is “a good fit” for the HSSA because the organization’s efforts and members often work to help the homeless and veterans.
“We’re advocates for them, so what better way try to make a difference than this job fair,” said Padilla, who hopes to work in social work or radio programming when she graduates in 2016 with her bachelor’s degree in human services.
In preparation for the job fair, the HSSA is seeking volunteers on and off campus to help out during the event. Much of the day’s work will consist of volunteers escorting job seekers and other attendees to the various employer booths and locations that day.
“I’m also going to reach out to the Veteran Student Alliance on campus to see if they’re interested in being part of this program,” said Roldan Galvez, a human services major at CSUDH who is leading the coordination of the Veterans Job Fair on behalf of the HSSA. “They are a great group of people who do so much. We recently collaborated with the alliance for a concert that was hosted specifically for veterans to solicit canned goods and hygiene products for the homeless.”
The Human Services program is interdisciplinary, combining courses from such CSUDH programs as child development, health sciences, psychology and sociology. It was developed for students looking to launch careers in social work and other fields that focus on helping others and the communities in which they live.
Carlon Manuel, adjunct faculty member in the College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing, believes events like the Veterans Job Fair expose human services students to the many types of support available to military veterans, and how they can contribute in their own way.
“It also enables our students to analyze and identify areas in which more support is needed [for veterans], and create programs to suit that need,” said Manuel, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “Our students, as a result of Human Services in action, also become agents of change.”
Padilla, who is a talk show host on CSUDH’s on-campus radio station KDHR, has addressed some of the physical and mental challenges veteran’s face after combat, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), on her show “The Awareness Show,” which focuses on bringing awareness to various health issues and how to help.
“It’s hard for many veterans to find a good job. A lot are nervous about entering the workforce since many of them have PTSD from the wars, even after they finish college,” said Padilla, a Carson resident. “Some employers might not want to hire them for that reason, and the job market for all students is tough right now.”
Unemployed veterans only get a budget of $221 a month. That’s a not enough to cover medical bills or the medication they need. -Michelle Padilla
Attending college after their military services is complete does help veterans re-enter society in a positive and productive way, even those with PTSD. However, for those who don’t find work right away, quality healthcare and inadequate housing can become critical issues for military veterans as they look for employment, according to Padilla. For some homeless veterans, dealing with life on the streets can render them unemployable over time.
“Unemployed veterans only get a budget of $221 a month. That’s a not enough to cover medical bills or the medication they need,” said Padilla. “There’s more than 1,000 vets [in Los Angeles] on the waiting list to get Section 8 housing assistance right now. That’s why it’s so important for us to try to bring the jobs to them. They deserve all our help.”
For more information about the Veteran’s Job Fair, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.