SMXG hiring event spurs 47 job offers

Chinh Nguyen, left, with the 558th Software Maintenance Squadron, and David Walton, with the 557th SMXS, discuss the resume and skills of a prospective hire during the 76th Software Maintenance Group’s recent hiring event. The 76th SMXG is still hiring for engineering positions as well as computer science degree holders and entry-level and experienced professionals. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Chinh Nguyen, left, with the 558th Software Maintenance Squadron, and David Walton, with the 557th SMXS, discuss the resume and skills of a prospective hire during the 76th Software Maintenance Group’s recent hiring event. The 76th SMXG is still hiring for engineering positions as well as computer science degree holders and entry-level and experienced professionals. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

The Engineering Directorate’s recent one-day hiring event resulted in 47 job offers for engineers to join the approximately 1,000 employees of the 76th Software Maintenance Group.

Justin Thomas, supervisor of the 76th SMXG organizational development section, said that as of last week, 21 candidates ranging from recent college graduates to working professionals had accepted positions. Five of the job offers were made through the Palace Acquire program, a formal training program for new college graduates.

“Once again our hiring event has proven to be an efficient and successful way to bring on board the many engineers that SMXG continues to need,” Thomas said. “We’re still hiring, so I encourage electrical, computer and software engineers, computer scientists and others to apply.”

Fifty-three engineering and computer scientist candidates attended the invitation-only hiring event April 28 at Rose State College. Interviews took place in a large room with folding tables that were color-coded by specialization, such as software programming, systems engineering, hardware engineering, just to name a few. The pre-screened applicants were advised on which colors to visit based on their educational qualifications and work experience.

The roughly 20-minute talks with one or more interviewers were conducted speed-dating style. The blend of voices and candidates walking about gave the room an atmosphere of a crowded, high-energy restaurant.

Due to pre-screening, the candidates were all well-qualified.

“We made 14 tentative job offers on the spot,” said Gabby Madkins, SMXG recruiting coordinator. “This was our fifth hiring event since 2014, and they’re always exciting and busy days for the candidates and for the members of the Software Maintenance Group.”

Josue Perez, a University of Texas-El Paso graduate in electrical engineering, drove 11 hours to attend the event.

“I like it,” he said. “I didn’t imagine it was going to be like this. It’s very easy to go around to the tables and get an interview.”

A working professional engineer who asked that her name be withheld called it a “well thought-out day.” She has a biomedical engineering degree with an emphasis in instrumentation, and she has expertise in electrical engineering, too.

 “Where I work now I use more of my biology side of my brain, and I want to get back to the engineering side,” she said. “This opportunity came up and it sounded interesting.”

Huy Le, the engineering branch chief for 76th SMXG, said the hiring events have become widely known in engineering circles.

“It’s really good to give people a central event to look forward to, and we’ve gotten momentum over the last two years,” he said. “More people have come to know that we have this large hiring event twice a year.”

Hiring continues

The 76th SMXG is particularly interested in electrical, computer, and software engineers from ABET-accredited programs. Computer science degree holders with at least 15 hours of calculus-based math/statistics credits are also encouraged to apply. The group is looking for entry-level or experienced professionals who are available to start full-time work between now and May 2018. Prospective candidates may apply by emailing their latest transcripts and resume to SECareers@us.af.mil.