Metro is looking for veterans to help fill a huge backlog of jobs by hosting its third annual military jobs fair next week.

The transit agency is inviting retired, former and transitioning military service members to the open house on Nov. 19 to fill its hundreds of openings at the 11,000-person strong agency. Veterans must register in advance for the event that runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Building Museum at 401 F St. in Northwest.

"Metro recognizes the discipline, unique training, skills and leadership qualities that the U.S. armed forces provide, and we look for candidates with these types of skills to fill our workforce," said Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said in a statement. "We want to reach out to the military community and encourage veterans to take a look at Metro as they transition back into civilian life."

The transit agency typically offers screening tests for bus operators and conducts some interviews at the fair. More than 230 of the nearly 350 attendees last year were identified for testing or further screening. It was not immediately clear how many have actually joined the agency from past fairs, though.

But this year, the agency's need is bigger than ever. In February, the agency said it needed to hire 1,800 workers in 18 months to fill vacancies, keep pace with attrition and add new positions for its rebuilding campaign and the gearing up for the Silver Line now under construction. It has tried the military fairs and "speed-dating" style interviews, among other tools to complete what one board member called the largest expansion in the agency's history.