Chamber Honored for Support of National Guard

Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar holds the Above and Beyond Award, presented to the Chamber for its support of our employee Cory Ahlersmeyer. Cory’s annual two-week deployments allow him to train for his service in the National Guard.

We’re proud to have received the Above and Beyond Award from the U.S. Military’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program for our support and flexibility with our staffer Cory Ahlersmeyer. We’re grateful for his service to the country and proud to call him a colleague! The award reads: “Presented on behalf of the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve Forces for outstanding service and continuing support to the National Defense.”

Free Webinar Can Help Avoid Mistakes in Hiring Veterans

sNational Guard and veteran unemployment continues to outstrip national unemployment numbers, while employers post job openings at a 14-year high, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

So what’s the missing connection? Small and mid-size employers often hit snags when seeking to hire trained and experienced veterans and National Guard members. Challenges include bureaucratic issues, translating military experience into civilian job descriptions and connecting with qualified military job candidates through a myriad of available programs and job boards.

The Center for America, coordinating the non-profit American Jobs for America’s Heroes military hiring campaign, announces a free webinar replay,How to Achieve Greater Success in Hiring National Guard and Other Veterans,” to give employers practical advice on hurdles they may encounter in the military hiring effort and specific action steps that will help employers find qualified job applicants. There is no cost and no registration to watch the program.

The program features three experts who have extensive experience in helping veterans and employers: Brig. Gen. (ret.) Marianne Watson, the former Director of Manpower and Personnel (J1) for the National Guard Bureau; Stacy Bayton, a retired U.S. Marine and Chief Operating Officer for Corporate America Supports You (CASY) and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN), a 2014 Call of Duty Endowment award-winner for excellence in military hiring; and Erin Voirol, the CASY-MSCCN Executive Director and military spouse. CASY and MSCCN placed more than 5,000 Guard members and veterans in jobs in 2014.

The “live” version of this webinar was hosted by the Maryland State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Questions? Contact: Steve Nowlan, Center for America, 201-513-0379 or [email protected]

Campaign Assists in Hiring National Guard and Other Veterans

The theme of the Indiana Chamber’s 2013 Annual Awards Dinner was a salute to the military. The video below highlights the impact of military service for some Indiana veterans and their organizations.

We’ve told you before about the American Jobs for America’s Heroes campaign and its efforts to connect employers with veterans and their in-demand skill sets. Here’s the latest:

The National Guard and other military branches are laying off soldiers at all ranks because of downsizing.  The Army National Guard is likely to reduce between 15,000 and 35,000.  The U.S. Army may lose 80,000 or more.   There will be thousands more veterans looking for jobs in addition to those veterans currently looking.

In 2013, almost 50,000 U.S. veterans of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq were homeless or in a federal program to provide housing (three times the number in 2011), according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Hiring National Guard members and other veterans creates real benefits for your company, your community and veterans and their families.  The nonprofit American Jobs for America’s Heroes (AJAH) campaign gives you free, direct access to highly trained National Guard members and other vets who are transitioning to civilian jobs.

The Guard trains in 107 occupational specialties.  Most members have put this training to work in high stress situations ranging from disaster relief to combat situations.  They are disciplined, reliable and drug free.  Guard members are focused on continuous learning and improvement so they excel in advanced job training.

Watch this short video on the success Phillips 66 has had in military hiring:

In the AJAH campaign, your free job postings flow directly to National Guard and other military employment counselors.  These counselors help you understand how military training and experience translates to your civilian requirements.

Visit the web site to learn more register online in five minutes.  A campaign counselor will contact you to set up your posting and answer questions.  All services are free.  More than 1,000 employers are already participating.

 

 

New Role for Our Heroes

Several other Chamber staff and I learned more recently about the American Jobs for America's Heroes campaign. With our upcoming business and military tribute at the 24th Annual Awards Dinner, there is no better time to share some of the details:

Hiring National Guard members is a win-win for your company, your community and veterans and their families.  The nonprofit American Jobs for America’s Heroes campaign gives you free, direct access to highly trained National Guard members who are transitioning to civilian jobs.

“Hiring Guard members is a win for employers because they bring tremendous skills and teamwork values to the workplace – they’re very results-oriented and creative in achieving their objectives,” said Steve Nowlan, campaign director.  “Keeping Guard units strong helps our communities.  We all depend on the Guard to help during disasters and to defend our country."

Employers also benefit because the National Guard trains in 107 occupational specialties, making the men and women of the National Guard among the most highly qualified employment candidates in America.  Guard members are focused on continuous learning and improvement so they excel in advanced job training.

Learn about the success Total Quality Logistics (its Indianapolis operation was named a 2013 Best Places to Work) has had in hiring Guard members.  http://www.CenterForAmerica.org/tql.pdf

In this campaign, your free job postings flow directly to National Guard employment counselors in the states who work one-on-one with Guard candidates to match them to your job requirements.  These counselors help you understand how military training and experience translates to your civilian requirements.

You can watch a five-minute video about the campaign – www.CenterForAmerica.org/video.html — and then visit the web site at www.CenterForAmerica.org to register online.  A campaign counselor will contact you to set up your posting and answer questions.  All services are free.  More than 935 employers are already participating.

Questions?  Contact: Steve Nowlan, Center for America, 201-513-0379 or [email protected].

Program Matches Guard Members With Job Openings

There are various efforts taking place to connect military veterans — and the valuable skills they possess — with employers who are having difficulty finding the workers they need. One of those programs is focused on the National Guard, assisting active members, veterans and spouses.

American Jobs for America's Heroes (AJAH) has a mission of encouraging employers across the country to provide job postings. These will allow National Guard employment counselors to match openings with qualified candidates.

Of nearly 360,000 National Guard members (in all 50 states and four U.S. territories), about 20% are unemployed. Only one in four National Guard applicants are accepted. They train continuously in a variety of programs — demonstrating a readiness for learning, strong teamwork and reliability, and an understanding of how to perform in a disciplined organization.

There are no costs for employers or job seekers. Companies can receive assistance at no cost in screening candidates and understanding how military training experience relates to job requirements.

The web site has additional information and registration details. The Indiana Chamber is among many associations and companies (Phillips 66 is the lead national corporate sponsor) supporting this initiative.

Companies Awarded for Supporting Employees in Uniform

Serving your country is no easy task. It takes heart, dedication and a love for country over a love for self.

Leaving family, friends, and oftentimes their full or part time jobs behind, American men and women in the National Guard and Reserves spend their precious time keeping us safe. It’s a common thing for families and friends of Guard and Reserve members to show their support through cards and care packages. What’s less common is the employers getting in on the action and lending a hand to the families and soldiers themselves.

However, some employers are working very hard on behalf of their men and women in uniform. Those employers are honored with the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor given by the United States Government to employers for their support of employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

Just 145 companies have been given the award since it was established in 1996 with the backing of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Fifteen awards are given each year and we’re pleased that a company with an Indiana presence – Hanson Professional Services, Inc. (headquartered in Illinois with a branch in Indianapolis) – is a recent recipient of the Freedom Award.

Hanson, an engineering consulting firm, was nominated by an employee serving in the Army National Guard, who wrote that Hanson provided pro-bono engineering assistance to a military unit working on a bridge in Iraq. Also, while he was deployed, the family of Hanson’s CEO took the Guardsman’s wife and daughters on a shopping trip to pick out care package supplies using money collected by co-workers. He also cited receiving care packages, letters and other correspondence from the company.

Other past recipients with Indiana ties include Indianapolis-based Perpetual Technologies, Inc. in 2009, Con-Way Freight (with a branch in Plainfield) in 2007, as well as Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Group (Midwest Airlines) in 2000.

Companies are nominated by their Guard and Reserve personnel, as well as their families. A national selection board of senior Defense officials and business leaders select the award recipients. The 2011 honorees will be recognized in Washington, D.C. at a ceremony on September 22.

For a full list of current and past recipients, visit www.freedomaward.mil.

Dept. of Defense Salutes Indiana Company

Indianapolis-based Perpetual Technologies, Inc. (PTI) takes the “Support Our Troops” credo seriously. 

The information technology company will be honored next month by the Department of Defense with the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award – the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

Few companies receive this honor – PTI is one of 15 businesses chosen from more than 3,200 nominations. The company was nominated by an employee.

One-tenth of Perpetual Technologies’ workforce consists of Guard and Reserve members or former members. Among benefits offered to employees: differential pay between military pay and PTI salary during deployments; care packages sent to employees deployed overseas; incorporation of families of deployed service members in all company functions; and recognition of military service through public events and displays at company facilities.

The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) established the Freedom Award in 1996.  Read more about ESGR and its Indiana services in a 2007 BizVoice® column.

Perpetual Technologies will be presented the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on September 17.

Rupert Murdoch: Media Dug Its Own Hole

For those of us with a media/newspaper background, the following comments from Rupert Murdoch — whose company owns Fox News, Wall Street Journal and MySpace — are quite interesting. He basically claims the media’s condescension toward its readers paved the way for its sharp decline and the emergence of private blogs as news sources:

"It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news-and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened. Today editors are losing this power. The Internet, for example, provides access to thousands of new sources that cover things an editor might ignore. And if you aren’t satisfied with that, you can start up your own blog and cover and comment on the news yourself. Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs, but they haven’t always responded well when the public calls them to account."

To make his point, Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers debunked a "60 Minutes" report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.

"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. ’60 Minutes,’ he said, was a professional organization with ‘multiple layers of checks and balances.’ By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as ‘a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.’ But eventually it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Mr. Rather and his producer to resign …

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