US Customs and Border Protection seeks vets to fill Virginia port jobs

By ROBERT MCCABE | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: October 12, 2016

NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — If you're a military veteran and looking for a job or considering a change, U.S. Customs and Border Protection may have a place for you.

Today, its Norfolk office announced that it's looking to hire officers to work in the port from the ranks of veterans living in the region.

"This is an opportunity for area veterans who want to work for CBP but not leave the community they already call home," said Mark J. Laria, Norfolk area port director, in a statement.

"CBP officer positions specifically designated for Norfolk do not become available often so now is the time to act."

Louis Rossero, a customs spokesman, said Wednesday that the agency is looking to hire as many qualified individuals as it can find.

"If we can get 50 through the process, we'll hire 50," he said, adding that there is no limit, no set number.

The positions pay between $32,318 and $48,968 a year.

Part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection is responsible for securing U.S. ports of entry and protecting the nation's borders.

"Right now, the agency as a whole is understaffed," Rossero said. "It's not just Norfolk."

The recruiting initiative is targeting Norfolk specifically to bring more military veterans into the agency's workforce. Successful applicants who want to work in another port, however, may be able to do that, Rossero said.

Nearly 30 percent of Customs and Border Protection employees are military veterans.

The additional officers "will result in enhanced security, reduced wait times and the facilitation of growing volumes of legitimate goods and travelers that are critical to the health of our nation's economy," according to the agency's statement.

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