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ARLINGTON, Va. — Wanted: mechanics. And troops would nicely fit the bill for one major auto industry corporation.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., has joined the efforts of many other U.S. corporations is looking to recruit servicemembers leaving the military to fill their job openings, said company spokesman Art Garner.

It’s not just service technicians’ slots available at Toyota and Lexus dealership across the country. The company’s new recruiting program, Hire*A*Hero, seeks to fill sales consultants, front office support staff, among others, Garner said.

But troops with technological know-how could be ideal for the shortage of service technicians plaguing the industry, Garner said.

“There’s a shortage, in part, because it’s such a highly technical job, and also because at one time, the job had a bad reputation. But that’s changing quite a bit recently. Now, it’s a lot of training and a lot of education,” and some can earn $100,000 a year, he said.

Troops make excellent job candidates, Garner said. “They often have unique training, they are good learners, [and] they’ve learned to be good leaders in the military.”

Information and job listing are available at: www.etoyota.com/joblink/

Toyota isn’t the only company looking to fill its ranks with former military members.

Now in its second year, the federally-funded program called Helmets to Hardhats, helps veterans, National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty members find employment in the building and construction industry through a clearinghouse of about 80,000 contractors nationwide looking for employees.

The organization has an interactive Web site at www.helmetstohardhats.org, that offers customer service and field representatives to give prospective candidates round-the-clock access to hiring managers and contractors with vacancies, according to program spokesman Brian Hoey.

While there is no centralized clearinghouse maintained by the Defense Department of employers seeking to hire separating and retiring servicemembers, veterans or troops in the Guard and Reserve components, troops often can get pointers and information through DOD’s Transition Assistance Program.

The program maintains a Web site that provides free services to job seekers, such as separating military servicemembers, retirees, veterans, spouses and dependents, and DOD employees, to help them find their next job or career with employers seeking to hire individuals with military experience.

The Web site is: www.taonline.com.

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