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By JOHN FRIEDLEIN
FORT KNOX — New civilian jobs created by the realignment of the Army post will help eat away some of the area’s double digit unemployment rate — but not for a while.
The bulk of hiring for the Human Resources Command — which will make up most of the openings — won’t happen until next year, although there will be some advance recruiting, according to the Army. The Human Resources Center of Excellence building isn’t expected to be finished until next summer.
Still, those hoping to land one of these jobs can start preparing now.
Those interested can attend monthly hiring symposiums and take an online community college course to learn more about the Army. They also can create and submit a resume — which is different than those for the job market in general — at an Army Web site where jobs are posted. They’ll need to apply at the site each time a desired position is posted.
Sheree Welch, director of Fort Knox’s Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, said this latest Base Realignment and Closure initiative isn’t affecting her office’s current workload.
“It’ll increase over time,” she said.
BRAC is not a single action, she said, and hiring needs will vary depending on when the various commands arrive on post. Exactly what these needs will be are unclear at this point; the Army is trying to determine which existing employees plan to move here.
The military is filling some positions before the commands move, and new hires will come here later.
The number of permanent civilian jobs at Fort Knox will increase by at least 1,500 from 2005 to 2011, according to One Knox.
Incoming positions will include jobs in information technology, human resources management, administrative assistant and support personnel.
For external civilian hiring, the Army gives preference to veterans.
Also, One Knox spokeswoman Beth Avey said local residents who want one of these jobs are being told at symposiums that there will be more opportunities with entry level positions, because in many cases the others require “considerable experience.”
To possibly help, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College offers an online course called Army 101. The five-week program, which is a credit hour, familiarizes participants with the Army and the incoming units, which also includes the Accessions Command.
Another course will be offered dealing specifically with Army human resources. Avey said these are another “tool you can add to your Army resume.”
As for the symposiums, they are on the second Friday of each month, alternating between ECTC and Western Kentucky University’s Radcliff Campus. This and next month’s sessions are full, although people can show up and sign a waiting list to get in if there is a no-show — on an first-come-first-serve basis. Preregistration for the one in September can be done at the One Knox Web site.
These sessions have filled the venues to capacity — 120 in Elizabethtown and 80 in Radcliff.
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746.