Vets search for Suncoast jobs

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SARASOTA--Matt Gilreath spent twenty years in the Air Force. Now retired, he's among the thousands of veterans looking for a job.

"I do think it's important for people to know that veterans are out there and we have an outstanding work ethic and as you know we are very trainable," said Gilreath.

More than eighty local employers set up shop at a veterans job fair Saturday, hoping to fill open positions with former service members.

Organizers say despite the idea that the job market is improving, there are still thousands desperate for work.

"Every time you open up the paper, you listen to the news that's what you see: people need jobs," said Veronica Brandon Miller of Goodwill Manasota, which organized the job fair that happened at Ed Smith Stadium.

Finding a job can often prove challenging, especially for veterans, whose military skills may not always line up in the civilian sector.

Some vets say part of the problem is getting face to face with potential employers, a hurdle that a job fair like this can solve.

"There's a lot of job opportunities here in the Sarasota and Bradenton area," said veteran Robert Fitzgerald, "you just gotta get face to face with them in order to get an interview, [and] it's tough to get face to face with people."

And for veterans back from service and now out of work, any opportunity is a good one.

"I'm looking for anything," said one veteran, "I'm available for anything."