Operation: SERVE Nov. 11 at SHU

Event Will Provide Job and Resource Assistance; Major General Robert Smith Keynote Speaker

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Major General Robert W. Smith III, USAR (retired) will be the keynote speaker at Operation: SERVE Veterans Day Opportunity Expo Nov. 11 at Siena Heights University.


General Smith will speak at a noon ceremony of service and remembrance honoring those veterans who have served our country. He retired from the military after 34 years of service, and has commanded from detachment to division level and served in many key staff positions at numerous levels of the Army. The Vietnam War combat veteran and has received the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster among his many decorations.


General Smith recently accepted the appointment as director of the Veterans’ Services Division, Bureau of Workforce Transformation, Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. He was also featured as the cover of Fortune Magazine’s “Business Goes to War” issue and profiled in the Wall Street Journal discussing leadership. He has just finished serving as a member of the Department of Defense task force on the Future of Military Health Care in Washington, D.C. 


SHU, in partnership with South Central Michigan Works!, Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, is inviting the community on campus for the inaugural Veterans Day Opportunity Expo. The job and resource event is scheduled from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 11 in the SHU Fieldhouse. Attendance at the event is free and open to the public.


“We are excited about this opportunity, as it brings together communities in Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee and Monroe counties as well as northwest Ohio,” said SHU Career Services Director Melissa Growden, the event’s chairperson. “Operation: SERVE highlights veterans, employment opportunities and available resources for our returning service members. We hope to make this an annual event for college students, alumni, community members and veterans.”


Participants are encouraged to attend one of the Boot Camp (see attachment below) workshops offered at SHU prior to the job fair. Topics to be discussed include first impressions, basic interview skills, attire, navigating the job fair and resume critiques.


Growden said more than 40 employers, service and education providers will be in attendance. Seven area colleges and universities will also be present, including Siena Heights University, Adrian College, Spring Arbor University, Hillsdale College, Baker College, Monroe County Community College and Jackson Community College.


Also on hand will be the Mobile One-Stop Center (MOC-1) vehicle. The MOC-1 is a multi-functional, state-of-the-art, mobile training facility available for tutorial or skills education. Each PC is loaded with up-to-date Michigan employment career software to further help students and jobseekers build their skills and connect them to quality jobs. Equipped with networked PC workstations, direct internet access, a mini-conference room, multimedia presentation resources, external training facilities and full ADA accessibility, the MOC-1 mobile training facility is ready for any type or style of training required.


“I think this is great that Siena Heights is putting this on,” said Mike Sexton, an eight-year Marine Corps veteran and full-time student at SHU who is involved in the event planning. “It’s not only focused on getting the local area involved, but it’s also trying to getting more veterans involved.”


“We are also in the process securing some event sponsors to help pay for some of the costs of this event,” Growden said. “Any proceeds remaining will be donated to Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio, a very worthy cause that flies World War II veterans cost-free to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II Memorial.”


For more information about Operation: SERVE (Students, Employment, Resources, Veterans, Education), please contact Growden at mgrowden@sienaheights.edu or 517-264-7378. More information and an online vendor registration form can also be found by clicking here or on the headers above or below.


Boot Camp Schedule

In preparation for the Job Fair Expo on Nov. 11, job seekers are encouraged to attend one of the workshops offered (below). Topics include: first impressions, interview skills, attire, navigating the job fair and resume critiques. Please bring your resume to the workshop.


At Siena Heights University

Thursday, Oct. 28 – 6 p.m. – Rueckert Auditorium 


Additional Boot Camps are being offered at the following locations:

Friday, October 29 – 8:30-10 a.m. – Jackson Service Center, Jackson, Mich., 209 E. Washington, Suite 100, (517) 841-5627.

Wednesday, November 3 – 9-10:30 a.m. – Jackson Service Center, Jackson, Mich., 209 E. Washington, Suite 100, (517) 841-5627.


Drop in Resume Critiques – Nov. 3 – 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Dominican Hall @ SHU


Also attached below is the list of participating Employers, Service Providers and Education Providers


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Gilius Blinstrubas

Business major, Entrepreneur, Adrian Campus

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Gail A. Ryder

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Bobby Hopewell '96

Public Services Graduate; Kellogg Community College Center; Health Care Administrator; Mayor of Kalamazoo