COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Specialist William Sadler and other South Carolina National Guard members are on the hunt for a new civilian job.

Some Guardsmen on orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic will transition from active-duty soon.

Spc Sadler said, “We’ve been away from our employers or previous jobs for 14 months now so this is a great way to see the actual opportunities that are out there for us.”

South Carolina Adjutant General, Major General Van McCarty, said as the number of active COVID-19 cases continues to drop in South Carolina, now is the right time to help soldiers get civilian employment.

He said hundreds of Guardsmen left jobs they can’t return to.

So Thursday, the state Military Department, dozens of employers and other organizations partnered together for a job fair at the State Fairgrounds.

Gen. McCarty said their guardsman can help fill the needs of these employers looking for workers.

He said, “We believe we have candidates for those jobs who are qualified, capable and skillset many employees are looking for. A willingness to work, coming to work and being able to get the job done.”

Thursday’s career fair opened up to the general public after the first hour. Governor Henry McMaster thanked the soldiers and airmen for their work over the last year.

McMaster said he would like to see every South Carolinian who can work, get back to work. The state’s unemployment rate dropped below 5% in May, the state Department of Employment and Workforce said.