By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2011 - 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 http:www.EmployerPartnership.org 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 EmployerPartnership.org 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."
Related Sites: U.S. Army Reserve [ http://www.usar.army.mil/arweb/pages/default.aspx ]
Related Articles: Portal Helps Vets, Reserves, Guardsmen Land Jobs [ http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=61639 ]
Website Links Unemployed Vets, Spouses to Jobs [ http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=62751 ]