Fort Knox is synonymous with gold, highly inaccessible gold. Until now. While the bricks will remain safely secured, Fort Knox is opening its doors to more than 1,400 golden opportunities in the form of high-quality civilian jobs.
The Army Human Resource Center of Excellence is making its home at Fort Knox. This command "synchronizes all human resource functions," according to the military. The facility housing it is nearly 900,000 square feet and will be home to 4,200 military, civilian and contract employees. The building is slated to be completed next month; hiring has started and will continue during the next year.
To learn more about the jobs offered and qualifications needed, I approached One Knox, a community organization working with the Army to help educate job seekers and prepare for the major influx of military and civilian personnel into the region. Group spokesman Kenny Rambo discussed opportunities for employment with the Army, which is seeking human resources specialists and assistants and information technology specialists, as well as general administrative clerical employees.
The group's Web site, www.oneknox.com/jobs, is a great resource to learn more about the application process for employment with the Army. The application method the Army uses is very specific and can be tricky to navigate. I received training on the application system last fall and highly recommend you review the materials offered. Among the resources:
■ The fifth "bullet" on the Web site under "Fort Knox Job Opportunities" has the "Army Job Application Kit," a guide explaining the Army's résumé builder, Resumix, that includes a sample résumé. You will not use your own résumé to apply for jobs, and the information the Army requests and the way it should be presented is very specific. Follow their recommendations carefully.
■ "Federal Hiring Symposiums" is a series of four video modules essential to view before beginning the application process.
Module 1 introduces you to skills and qualifications needed for the jobs being offered.
Module 2 will introduce you to the Civilian Personnel Online Web site, where vacancies are posted, and will help you understand the language of those vacancies.
Module 3 will guide you through Resumix and the job application kit.
Module 4 will show you how to apply for a vacancy and utilize the Answer system to check your application status.
■ Under "Additional Assistance," you will find a link to Lincoln Trail Career Centers. These centers have trained staff who can assist you with the résumé builder. You can visit the organization's Web site at www.ltcareercenter.org.
■ In addition to the One Knox Web site, Rambo recommended that people become fans of the group's Facebook page. This is a frequently updated site that posts announcements when vacancies become available. (Type "One Knox" into your Facebook search bar to find the page.)
The challenge to the job seeker will be to understand the specific positions and the qualifications required. In many instances, the Army allows an applicant to substitute education for experience. For instance, a human resources assistant position requires, at the General Schedule-5 pay grade, one year of specialized experience or a college degree.
Job applicants with certain backgrounds will have favored status when their applications are reviewed. People who are veterans, reservists, military dependents or civilians with previous federal employment will have additional "points" added to their applications. Follow instructions carefully in the application to ensure you receive those points.
Among the other things to consider as the Army HR Command moves in is that in addition to the on-base jobs advertised, the Army predicts 700 off-post jobs will be created. When upwards of 4,000 new people are moving in, there will be a greater demand for all services, so private hiring will increase. Also, government contractors are expected to make almost 450 additional hires. Use the Lincoln Trail Career Centers site to find off-post vacancies.
This is a fantastic opportunity for job seekers, and I encourage you to explore employment with the Army at Fort Knox. In an economy that is struggling to replace the millions of jobs lost, where things still look bleak, the heartland of Kentucky is starting to shine quite brightly — golden even.