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BRAC-Affected Workers In Northern Va. Find Tight Job Market

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More than 17,000 government workers are being affected by BRAC decision in Arlington alone, but county leaders say they hope new agencies will choose to expand in Arlington in the next few years to make up for the shift.
Jonathan Wilson
More than 17,000 government workers are being affected by BRAC decision in Arlington alone, but county leaders say they hope new agencies will choose to expand in Arlington in the next few years to make up for the shift.

The Defense Department's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program, has been a tough pill to swallow for many of Northern Virginia's government workers. Those looking for new jobs have had to battle the effects of the recession.

The career fair, held at the Marriott in Crystal City, attracted 1,100 Defense Department and military employees, along with recruiters from 35 government agencies.

Bob Ensley works for ClearanceJobs.com., a government job-listing Web site.

He says this job fair isn't quite as busy as BRAC fairs he's been to over he past couple of years, but he's not sure what that means.

"I'm hoping that people are finding jobs," Ensley says, "and for the most part I think that's the situation, and it's not just that they're discouraged and giving up."

Carmen Duncan says both she and her husband are being "BRAC'd," as many here call it.

She found another job in Ft. Belvoir, but her husband is still looking.

She says a lot of longtime Defense Department workers are highly skilled, but also highly specialized, which makes it tricky when you need to switch jobs.

"If you haven't along the way built a lot of different skills, than it's a little tougher for you," she says.

More than 17,000 government workers have been directly affected by BRAC decisions.

Most of the base realignments and closures happen in the summer of next year.

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