Unemployed for six months, Andy Bills showed up early to Thursday afternoon’s job fair at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6631 in Selinsgrove.

“I hate sitting at home,” the Sunbury resident said, eager to talk with some of the 33 employers at the CareerLink-sponsored job fair.

Bills, a U.S. Navy veteran, was among five military veterans who took advantage of the 30-minute invite to meet with local health care, manufacturing and transportation employers before the job fair was opened to the public.

By law, priority of service is provided to veterans, said Sandy Winhofer, business consultant at the CareerLink in Sunbury, serving Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties.

About 130 job-seekers, including 10 veterans, came to the job fair, she said.

In total, about 30 percent of the veterans who receive services at the local CareerLink served after the September 2001 terror attacks, said Stacie Snyder, CareerLink site administrator.

While the number of veterans served has decreased in the past five years, she said, the number of vets requiring services to make them job ready has risen due to medical or mental health issues.

“We connect them to agencies that can get them job-ready,” Snyder said.

Four veterans searching for jobs arrived at the job fair well before it opened and quickly got to work filling out applications.

A similar job fair will be held Oct. 12 at the McCann School of Business and Technology at 7495 Westbranch Highway, Lewisburg. The job fair will be open to veterans and McCann students from 2:30 to 3 p.m. and to the public from 3 to 6 p.m.

“I think it’s nice that they open it first to veterans. There are a variety of employers here,” said Shirley Moyer, human resources coordinator at the Manor at Penn Village in Selinsgrove.

Bills, 49, worked in shipping and receiving for 10 years before medical problems caused him to lose his job earlier this year.

As soon as he was cleared for work by doctors, “I shot right down to the CareerLink. I’m ready to get back to work.”

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