The Star Advertiser Career Expo drew hundreds of job seekers today at the Neal Blaisdell Center.
One-hundred twenty employers and staffing agencies were offering entry-level career positions to qualified applicants. A long line formed at the Department of Navy security booth, where Major Joe Clark, was recruiting federal guard officers with a starting salary of 28-hundred dollars a month.
“Its GS-5 step one, so it starts at a little over $18 an hour. If they stay with the
position, eventually, they could see becoming a police officer and then they’ll be sent to a law enforcement academy. If they keep going, they have openings for them to become sergeant, lieutenant, captain and major just like every other police department.”
The top salary for a federal police major is about 7-thousand dollars a month plus 25 percent cost of living allowance and retirement eligibility in 20 years. Nineteen year-old Micah Wong-Lau is applying for that guard officer job because he has the required Air Force training, experience and veteran’s hiring preference.
“I went to high school in Kahuku. I graduated in 2017 and I actually enlisted while I was in high school. The basic training was two months and the police school was 3 months. In my team of 115, we had 11 people quit. From when I was a little kid I always told my mom I wanted to be a police officer. Both of my parents are in the military and they gave me that opening, so I’m excited. I can’t wait to get started.”
The minimum qualifications for federal guards are U.S. citizenship, no criminal history and driver’s license. Twenty-one year-old Chelsea Cara’ang grew up on Maui and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing. She’s looking for a long-term commitment and career.
“I graduated this past May and I’m very happy with how hard I worked and now it’s time to look for a job and pay for rent and all those adult kinda things. Money is definitely not my main goal but it will help me to support myself for that. It’s a balance.”
Kristin Alm Kamakahi is a human resources manager at a staffing agency. She says there are entry-level career opportunities with large Hawai’i employers but job seekers should keep an open mind and be prepared.
“Show up a little early for the interview. Research the company. That’s huge. Make sure you look them up online. Know what they do. Maybe look up who you’re gonna meet with. See what they do at the company and come with questions. You know about the specific position or about the organization that shows the company that you have an interest and wanting to know more about them.”
Meanwhile, for those interested in compensation, according to a CNBC study, the highest paying entry-level job for a college graduate is as a commercial real estate loan officer, with a median annual salary of 76-thousand dollars. Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.