When the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff hands out an award to an employer it must mean the award is pretty important. It also means no global military conflict is going on that requires his presence in the War Room.
Both were the case May 4th when Admiral James A. Winnefeld handed out six carefully judged awards to employers who displayed outstanding support for their guard and reserve employees called to active duty. The awards came from the Colorado Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a volunteer arm of the U.S. Department of Defense Assistant Secretary for Reserve Affairs. I attended as a volunteer director of ESGR.
Congratulations go out to Raytheon, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Colorado Springs Utilities, Ball Aerospace and Infinity Systems Engineering.
Recognition of employers is one ESGR mission. But outside the hotel banquet hall, an RV-sized vehicle representing another ESGR mission caught my eye. This portable employment office struck me as a good approach to combine old and new ways to help returning soldiers find employment.
Inside the vehicle are terminals, printers and work stations. The terminals display new multi-service supported software designed with unique features to match users to jobs. The vehicle travels the country, stopping at scheduled veteran employment expos and job fairs.
Hero2Hired, unlike other well-intentioned software programs, includes a military skills translator. Enter a military occupation code to see matching civilian jobs added by employers in a given zip code. Also brought up are suggested key words or phrases for a résumé. The program, which is also available as a smartphone app, makes career assessments, explores career paths and facilitates online networking. Online is the preferred way to communicate for these veterans, as most are less than 27 years old.
MGA is currently conducting a national media relations and social media program for a client, Vaisala, which is bringing road weather technology and tailored messages to over 40 cities in a branded vehicle as part of the company’s national tour. It’s an effective way to create media opportunities, build the public’s awareness and offer hands-on demonstrations to customers. I would call this a strategy using intergenerational tactics. And it works – for Vaisala and for ESGR.
ESGR Driver Ted Tomkins agrees. A veteran and native of Birmingham, Ala., Tomkins logs thousands of miles in this job-mobile and meets hundreds of vets, who gather the courage to enter the vehicle and, he says, get “pretty hyped up” when they use the software and the special translator feature. He says his heart goes out to them for trying to find work. You have to try, Tomkins reminds them.
Whether veterans try at a terminal, on the road or face-to-face, civilian America has a duty to help. Find out more at www.H2H.jobs and pass the word.