USA — Website Links Unemployed Vets, Spouses to Jobs

WASHINGTON — Unem­ployed vet­er­ans, wound­ed war­riors, reserve-com­po­nent ser­vice mem­bers and their spous­es search­ing for jobs can find one-stop shop­ping at a Web por­tal designed just for them.
Oper­at­ed by the Army Reserve, the mil­i­tary-friend­ly Employ­ee Part­ner­ship of the Armed Forces at lends assis­tance not only to those look­ing for a job, but also to pub­lic and pri­vate employ­ers who are ready to hire for­mer ser­vice mem­bers and help to sup­port the troops, said Maj. Gen. Kei­th L. Thur­good, deputy chief of the Army Reserve.

“It’s all about con­nect­ing sup­ply and demand,” Thur­good said.

Employ­ers are attract­ed to vet­er­ans because they are high­ly skilled lead­ers from the fine­ly tuned mil­i­tary atmos­phere, the gen­er­al explained.

“That’s the crux of the pro­gram,” Thur­good said. “It’s a mutu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial pro­gram where the employ­er gets some­one who’s drug-free, under­stands col­lab­o­ra­tion, [and] can think strate­gi­cal­ly and act at a tac­ti­cal lev­el to get the job done.”

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is a long­time advo­cate of hir­ing vet­er­ans.

“Vet­er­ans bring a matu­ri­ty. They bring lead­er­ship. They bring a life expe­ri­ence,” he said last year. “They bring a ded­i­ca­tion they may not have had when they were 17, 18 or 19 years old, when they were com­ing out of high school or in the first cou­ple years of col­lege.”

Thur­good said the por­tal, launched on Vet­er­ans Day, still is in its infan­cy, but already has 7,500 reg­is­tered users.

“We’ve got over 1,300 [employ­ers with job open­ings], includ­ing 95 For­tune 500 com­pa­nies,” he said.

While many job web­sites exist on the Inter­net, Thur­good said, vet­er­ans should know offers a per­son­al touch, such as a resume-build­ing fea­ture that trans­lates mil­i­tary lan­guage into civil­ian terms. Deci­pher­ing “mil­i­tary speak” is a com­mon con­cern for human resources peo­ple in the cor­po­rate world, the gen­er­al added.

“We take [a mil­i­tary spe­cial­ty] and trans­late it into some­thing an HR pro­fes­sion­al can under­stand,” he said. “That’s a very impor­tant piece of what we do.”

And it’s not just about the mil­i­tary, Thur­good said.

“It’s about a nation­al pro­gram we need to put in place to share this great resource that we call peo­ple, because if you look at the unem­ploy­ment rate, and the demo­graph­ic of 18-to-24-year-olds, and then break that down into vet­er­ans, it’s high­er than the nation­al aver­age.”

And some­times, he added, the rate of unem­ploy­ment among vet­er­ans is twice of the rate among civil­ians.

“We have abil­i­ty to reach out to you per­son­al­ly to help you get your resume right, help you through the inter­view process, and make the right con­nec­tions with employ­ers,” the gen­er­al said. “The per­son­al touch is some­thing we pro­vide that nobody else does.”

The por­tal also has advice for vet­er­ans who want to start a busi­ness, Thur­good not­ed, offer­ing train­ing that explains how to become a smarter busi­ness per­son and entre­pre­neur.

“It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s a great way for us to con­nect the great skill sets that we bring to cor­po­rate Amer­i­ca,” he said. “In my opin­ion, our great mil­i­tary does two things well: it deliv­ers results and grows lead­ers. That’s exact­ly what Amer­i­ca needs.”

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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