Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/31/14

Good news story of the day

WELCOME HOME! Hundreds greet injured Marine and his family at their new Elysburg residence  (News Item)  David Noblit looked at the large ceremonial key that he just received from the Homes for Our Troops organization.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Job fair Tuesday to help veterans find civilian work  (KTVB)  Hero 2 Hired is a chance for those serving in the military to ease back into civilian work.

NJ’s high veteran unemployment rate in sights of lawmakers, advocates  (NJ.com)  Members of the United States Armed Forces learn a lot of valuable skills while they serve the country.

KSU transitions veterans from the battlefield to the boardroom with business bootcamp  (Marrieta Daily Journal)  A business boot camp designed to transition military veterans from the battlefield to the boardroom was conducted for the first time by Kennesaw State University last week.

Coming Home: SC Vets Return  (The State)  Sgt Maj. Chris Fletcher was a teenager the last time he had a civilian job.

Veterans News

Veterans Transition Center  (The Californian)  If success can be measured by the number of individuals it serves, the Veterans Transition Center has been a smashing success.

Why Athletes and Veterans Make Incredible Franchisees  (Entrepreneur.com)  It’s a common – and accurate — notion that athletes and former military personnel make good entrepreneurs.

Iraq and Afghanistan: The physical and mental toll, by the numbers  (The Washington Post)  The 2.6 million Americans who volunteered to fight on IED-laden battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan have returned home with a panoply of problems borne out of their service.

Local veterans to be affected by senate’s rejection of benefits bill  (Daily Emerald)  The Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014, an act which would have provided additional education and job-training benefits for veterans as well as improved health care, was rejected by senate in March.

Veterans commemorate the 30th anniversary of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Monument in Springfield  (MassLive)  Veterans and their families gathered at Springfield City Hall Sunday to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Monument.

IG: Vet overdosed while in VA rehab center  (Military Times)  A veteran of the war in Afghanistan died of a heroin and cocaine overdose last year while receiving treatment at a Miami Veterans Affairs residential treatment facility, according to a VA inspector general report released Friday.

Sen. Nelson: None of the controversial VA deaths occurred at Haley  (Tampa Bay Online)  Neither the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa nor the C.W. “Bill” Young” VA Medical Center at Bay Pines were the locations where deaths occurred as the result of treatment delays, according to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and hospital officials.

Two Men, Two Fates  (Stars and Stripes)  In the early weeks of 1973, the infamous Hanoi Hilton was filling up with Americans. For once, the influx of prisoners was something to celebrate.

Irregularities cited in student vet study  (Military Times)  A study released by Student Veterans of America promised to bring much-needed clarity to veterans’ college graduation rates, but irregularities in how the research was done may cast doubt on its findings.

Jeremiah A. Denton Jr., 89, Dies; With Blinks, Vietnam P.O.W. Told of Torture  (The New York Times)  The prisoner of war had been tortured for 10 months and beaten repeatedly by his North Vietnamese captors in recent days, and there were threats of more if he did not respond properly when the propaganda broadcast began.

After the Wars:  A Legacy of Pain and Pride  (The Washington Post)  More than half of the 2.6 million Americans dispatched to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with physical or mental health problems stemming from their service, feel disconnected from civilian life and believe the government is failing to meet the needs of this generation’s veterans, according to a poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Benefits News

DoD to look at consolidating commissaries, exchanges  (Military Times)  Defense officials have ordered a review of options that include consolidating commissaries and exchanges, as well as having commissaries adopt an “Exchange-like business model,” according to information obtained by Military Times.

Disability claims backlog will disappear in 2015, Shinseki says  (Fierce Government)  The Veterans Affairs Department is still on pace to clear its disability claims backlog by the end of 2015, so long as the agency is given adequate money for information technology programs and claims processors’ overtime pay, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told a House panel.

Outreach program aims to connect with all 75,000 veterans in state  (Argus Leader)  A push in South Dakota to meet with all 75,000 veterans is part of a trend among states to compensate for gaps in federal efforts, national experts said.

Edmonds Military Wire: New laws provide additional protection to veterans and military families  (My Edmonds News)  Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson successfully championed two bills on behalf of military and veteran families that received Governor Inslee’s signature on March 27, 2014.

VA restores aid to homeless veterans  (USA Today)  The VA has reversed course in the face of complaints from community groups and a USA TODAY query and restored aid to potentially several thousand homeless veterans who otherwise could have been left on the streets.

Eyeing disability backlog, GOP rep. pushes VA accountability  (CBS)  Citing a backlog of disability claims that leaves many disabled veterans waiting months to receive their benefits, Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., slammed the Department of Veterans Affairs for mismanagement Saturday, saying the VA has “become the epitome of bureaucracy run amok.”

 

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/28/14

Good news story of the day

102-year-old, veteran highlight Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament kickoff event  (News4Jax)  Actor and comedian Bill Murray is in town for the 14th annual Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament events, which began Thursday morning with the Pond Charity Golf Classic and lots of surprises in store.

Military Transition and Jobs News

City hiring veterans, military for fitness instruction  (News For San Antonio)  The city is looking for a few good men and women to help them get San Antonio in shape.

Job fair for military veterans  (MyFoxNY)  Many soldiers trading in uniforms for a suit and tie attended the hiring our heroes job fair at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan.

Job fair in Macon for area veterans  (Union-Recorder)  The Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation agency will host a job fair for area veterans next month in Macon.

GDOL hosts job expo for veterans  (NBC11Alive)  The Georgia Department of Labor and the Aviation Institute of Maintenance team up to host a job expo for veterans and others looking for employment in Gwinnett County at the Aviation Institute located at 2025 Satellite Point in Duluth on April 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Job hunting for veterans: ‘My resume went into a black hole’  (The Guardian)  This week, military veterans finally received a better crack at getting jobs

Veterans News

Iraq war vet introduces military suicide prevention bill  (CNN)  The first Iraq war combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate introduced legislation on Thursday aimed at reducing the number of military veterans who commit suicide.

Joplin 2014 Veterans Enterprise Forum  (Four State Home Page)  Area veterans learn about various programs available to assist with their benefits.

Flags display, Senate bill put focus on veteran suicides  (Stars and Stripes)  A new bill aimed at improving suicide prevention for veterans was introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, as nearly 2,000 flags were planted within view of the Capitol — each one representing a current or former servicemember who had committed suicide so far this year.

Benefits News

Military Update: Exchange-commissary merger could help each survive  (The Sentinel)  Thomas C. Shull, chief executive officer of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is not, which helps to explain his March 17 memo proposing a merger of commissaries with exchanges to try to save both.

Service Members Weigh in on Benefits  (U. S. Navy)  Senior local military commanders, senior enlisted advisers and retired veterans spoke with the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) during a public hearing panel at the Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island hotel March 26.

Benefits backlog for veterans has shrunk, but critics say VA still not working fast enough  (Bay Area News)  Whenever Vietnam veteran Don Cooper asked about his request for an in-home aide, the Oakland VA regional benefit office told him the same thing: A decision would take 14 months.

Mo. Veterans Commission accused of failing to file claims  (KSDK)  Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) plans to demand an audit into the Missouri Veterans Commission for what she calls an egregious failure to help veterans.

Veterans Receive Help With Benefits  (Missourian)  Veterans turned out Sunday to sign up for VA medical benefits and ask questions during a special event at AT&T in Washington, an official said.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/27/14

Good news story of the day

Iowa House OKs benefits for veterans  (Quad-City Times)  The Iowa House passed wide-ranging legislation Wednesday aimed at attracting military veterans to work and live in Iowa.

Military Transition and  Jobs News

Job seekers attend base employment fair  (JDNews)  With resumes in hand, more than 1,000 job seekers attended the Camp Lejeune employment and education fair on Wednesday.

Veteran Transition Workshop  (KIROTV)  The Veteran Transition Workshop is available to our veterans and spouses whether they are currently going through their Transition Assistance Program (TAP) or have been out of the military for some time.

Transition GPS: Navy helps prepare Sailors for civilian life  (DC Military)  Service members planning to retire or separate from military service within the next year should hurry and register for the Transition GPS — Goals, Plan, Succeed — class.

Sailors leaving Navy over stress on social issues, Top Gun instructor says  (The Washington Times)  A Navy F-18 fighter pilot and former Top Gun instructor is publicly warning admirals that retention is beginning to suffer from the military’s relentless social conditioning programs.

AF civilians have another shot at early retirement, separation  (Air Force Times)  The Air Force said March 26 it will offer a second round of early retirements and voluntary separation payments to civilian employees.

Veterans News

Veterans benefit from third-annual Stand Down in Torrington  (The Register Citizen)  A group of veterans stood at attention and saluted the American Flag as the national anthem played at the Torrington Armory Wednesday.

Obama Pays Tribute at Graves of World War I Soldiers  (New York Times)  President Obama paid homage Wednesday to the American soldiers who died at Flanders Fields in the battles of World War I, which began 100 years ago and took the lives of hundreds of thousands.

‘Environmental Poisoning’ of Iraq Is Claimed  (New York Times) An advocacy group representing American military veterans and Iraqi civilians arrived here on Wednesday armed with a message for the United States government: Washington must do something for the thousands of people suffering from what the group called the “environmental poisoning” of Iraq during the war.

Benefits News

More veterans taking advantage of Post-9/11 GI Bill  (Florida Courier)   In the year since Clemson University launched its Student Veterans Success Center, its volunteer staff has worked to transform the small alcove in the School of Computing into a place where those transitioning from military to civilian life can connect with their peers.

DiNapoli Finds Veterans Are Not Informed of Health Benefits Options  (Rockland County Times)  Poor coordination of health benefits for veterans by the state Department of Health (DOH) and local social services departments resulted in many veterans being placed in the state’s Medicaid program rather than federal programs, according to an audit released last week by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Legion pushes VA to continue progress on claims  (Military Times)  The American Legion’s national commander is happy with work Veterans Affairs Department officials have done on their disability claims and veteran outreach goals.

DoD official: ‘Tough choices’ necessary on pay and benefits reform  (Military Times)  Defense Department Comptroller Robert Hale pleaded with Senate lawmakers Wednesday not to undo money-saving personnel changes in the fiscal 2015 budget proposal, saying such a move would devastate spending plans for years to come.

Senators weigh impact of proposed Tricare fee hikes  (Military Times)  Military advocacy groups appear divided over a Pentagon proposal to consolidate Tricare health programs, but all agree that active-duty families should not have to pay higher medical costs just because they don’t live near a military hospital.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/26/14

Good news story of the day

Purple Heart Recipient is Honored by Veterans  (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University News)  A small crowd gathered in the DLC to honor a student veteran of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who is a Purple Heart recipient.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Wednesday is last chance to apply for early retirement  (Air Force Times)  The window for most airmen to apply for early retirement closes on Wednesday.

Transition GPS curriculum expands, implemented throughout DOD  (Marines.mil)  The Department of Defense is making sure its service members are more ready than ever to transition from military to civilian life with a revamped version of its current transition program, the Transition Readiness Seminar.

Job fair targets transitioning military  (Jacksonville Daily News)  On Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Goettge Memorial Field House, military affiliated personnel as well as students from Coastal Carolina Community College will have an opportunity to market themselves to potential employers as they present their unique skills and qualities to more than 70 employers,

Veteran-Owned Wall Street Firm Employs Disabled Vets  (ABC News)  When Lawrence Doll returned to the U.S. from Vietnam in 1969 he never forgot the help he received during his transition into civilian life.

Job Fair Helps Veterans Find Work  (NBC Connecticut)  Even after five deployments overseas, Sgt. Woodrow Valle is still a member of the U.S. Army, but he was making contacts at the Heroes 4 Hire job fair for the day he gets out, shaking hands and handing out resumes.

Job fair connects veterans with employers  (WEAU)  They’ve served our country and now, they’re looking for jobs.

Owen School is popular transitional stop for veterans  (Vanderbilt News)  Military veterans and current soldiers alike are a familiar sight in the halls of Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

Veterans News

New Jersey Has Highest Percentage of Unemployed Veterans in America  (Breitbart)  New Jersey’s veterans are having a harder time finding a job than veterans in any other state, according to an extensive survey of veteran employment rates nationwide by the United States Department of Labor.

Veterans’ Unemployment Edges Down but Remains High  (Military.com) The unemployment rate for veterans who served since 2001 dipped slightly in 2013 to 9 percent, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Relatives of Pearl Harbor victims want military to identify remains  (Los Angeles Times)  Bethany Glenn never met her grandfather, John C. England, a 20-year-old Navy ensign from Alhambra who perished in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Casey says VA insults families, taxpayers by not releasing probe results  (TribLive)  U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. contends it’s “an insult” that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not released the results of two internal probes into a deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at Pittsburgh VA hospitals.

Legislative report on vets housing makes startlingly bold suggestions  (The Star Tribune)  A little-seen legislative report on veterans housing makes some startlingly bold suggestions.

Benefits News

Veteran’s job bill passes Senate  (Legislative Gazette)  After nearly a decade-long fight, Sen. Greg Ball announced the passage of legislation through the Senate that would facilitate the awarding of state contracts to disabled veterans.

Military retirement: Change ahead?  (Union-Tribune)  A retired Marine Corps officer said he thinks young enlisted fighters deserve something even if they don’t stay for 20 years.

Half of GI Bill Veterans Completed Educational Program  (AllGov)  Military veterans are making good use of the GI Bill of 2008 and its support for those seeking college education, a new report says.

VA: Adaptive housing grant eligibility automatic for ALS  (Today in OT)  Veterans and active-duty military personnel with service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, now are presumed medically eligible for grants of up to almost $68,000 to adapt their homes, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced March 19.

Some vets won’t have to report income for VA care  (Military Times)  Starting this month, veterans who qualify for care from the Veterans Health Administration under income thresholds will no longer need to report their income information to Veterans Affairs annually.

Bill would remove cap on traumatic injury payments  (Air Force Times)  Two lawmakers have introduced a bill that would eliminate the $100,000 cap on payments to wounded warriors for multiple, severe injuries under the Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance program.

House lawmakers cool to DoD pay, benefits proposals  (Military Times)  The Pentagon’s pay and benefits proposals for fiscal 2015 would be crippling for troops and their families, and potentially a disincentive for many to continue serving, according to House lawmakers who oversee personnel programs in the annual defense budget.

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A few thoughts on job and career fairs, part 2: Open events held on base

I have attended literally dozens of career and jobs fairs, and along the way I have learned a great deal about how they operate.  They are not all the same, and this is the second post in a series about the different types of transitioning military and veteran job and career fairs.  In the last post we explored fairs that focus on a specific niche of veterans, and in this post we will go in the opposite direction by looking at the broadest type of job and career fair: open events held on military bases.

Although these events are not limited to military bases, the vast majority of these job fairs are indeed located on military installations.  Held in conjunction with transition assistance activities, their targeted group of participants is primarily transitioning military personnel.  I have never seen one that turns veterans away from the door, but it is important to recognize that the companies that are participating in these events are primarily looking to fill jobs that are entry level in nature.  These are also large events and tend to be well attended by job seekers and participating companies to the point of being crowded.  It is important to recognize that these events are great opportunities to go meet representatives from numerous diverse companies and organizations in order to learn more about opportunities and to see if there is something out there that you would like to pursue.  It is also important to recognize that it is not the place to start handing out resumes with the expectation that a hiring manager has been waiting all day for you to show up so that they can hire you.

These events are much more like going to a high school dance without a date; you can socialize with a lot of potential dance partners but you are not going to get married on the dance floor.  Unfortunately, I have had many people in transition lament that they handed out resume after resume at such an event and nobody ever called them back.  As a result, they become frustrated and cynical about job fairs.

That is too bad, because these types of fairs are great for those in transition to see what is out there.  If you recognize that up front, then you will have a great opportunity to learn more about companies, industries, jobs, and possible careers.  If not, then you risk missing a great opportunity to network.

The best way to find out about these types of career fairs is to look them up at your local military base.  Every service has a transition assistance office, and they are the POC for upcoming events.  Here is a link to an event at Camp LeJeune on March 26th:  Job fair targets transitioning military  If you are in the area, check it out.  Just remember that it is much more of a networking opportunity than an onsite job interview opportunity.

In the next post we will look at industry-focused opportunities.

Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/25/14

Good news story of the day

Schultz Family Foundation Commits $30 Million To Help Veterans Navigate The Challenges Of Returning To Civilian Life  (PR Newswire)  The Schultz Family Foundation announced a $30 million commitment to help America’s veterans overcome the challenges of returning to civilian life and maximize their skills for America’s businesses and communities.

Military Transition and Jobs News

The 8 Best Jobs for Military Veterans  (Business News Daily)  Many military veterans will attest to the fact that finding work after their time in the service can be a difficult one.

Stockton College Hosts Veteran Resource and Employment Fair April 4  (The Sandpiper) Active military, veterans and civilians are invited to attend a free Veteran Resource and Employment Fair at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 4.

Career Tips For Military Veterans Starting to Work in Civilian Positions  (Examiner)  There are so many articles and sites with tips on how to find a civilian job when you have served in the military and are now a veteran seeking employment. Now here you are one of the fortunate veterans to have found a job, you have been hired and next week you start.

A look at Air Force FY14 Force Management: Transition Assistance Program  (17th Training Wing Public Affairs)  As Fiscal Year 2014 Force Management programs continue to reduce military strength numbers, an increasing amount of personnel are participating in the Transition Assistance Program, which is required by law.

‘Boots to Business’ Helps Troops Become Entrepreneur  (Defense.gov)  When Sandra Gonzales and Tony Turin were enrolled in the Defense Department’s Transition GPS course, they found their career calling through an optional entrepreneur track called “Boots to Business.”

Great Career Opportunities For Transitioning Military Veterans  (WTVR)  Top companies want military-experienced talent for civilian jobs.

Cash to leave in 2015: AF cranks up retirement, separation budget  (Air Force Times)  The Air Force is planning to spend as much as $1.6 billion on separations and early retirements by the end of fiscal 2015, according to budget documents submitted to Congress.

Veterans News

New rules on hiring disabled workers, vets go into effect for federal contractors  (St. Louis Today)  New Labor Department regulations go into effect today that require federal contractors to take steps to hire minimum numbers of protected veterans and disabled workers.

 Obama administration urges veterans to sign up for Obamacare  (Washington Examiner)  The Obama administration is encouraging military veterans to sign up for Obamacare as it pulls out all the stops to maximize enrollment ahead of the March 31 deadline.

Safe environments assist transition of student veterans (USC News)  There is no universal way to support student veterans with mental health issues but, generally speaking, providing a safe environment on college and university campuses has proven effective.

Veterans struggle to upgrade less than honorable discharges  (ABC2News)  For former military veterans, there is one rule to having “bad papers:” Keep it silent.

Pennsylvania DMVA Announces Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Recipients  (The Street)  The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has selected 9 Pennsylvania-based organizations to receive $342,020 in grants from the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF).

Ex-soldier shot by deputy served in hard-hit JBLM Stryker battalion  (The News Tribune)  The Army veteran shot to death late Friday by a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy was a former Wilson High School student who fought in Afghanistan with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker battalion that experienced more fatal casualties than any other comparable unit.

Benefits News

Report: Most GI Bill veterans make good on education benefits  (Washington Post)  A new report indicates that more than half of U.S. military veterans who used the GI Bill recently have earned a postsecondary degree or certification, suggesting educational benefits for former service members are paying off.

Vets group calls for better suicide prevention services  (Military Times)  When Kristofer Goldsmith tried to kill himself six years ago, the Army responded by kicking him out of the military for misconduct.

VA Benefits Seminar  (Cherokee One Feather)  April 5 from 1-3pm at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.

Veterans with PTSD can now use medical marijuana  (WZZM13)  Last week the Michigan medical marijuana review board added post traumatic stress syndrome to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.

Comprehensive Health Care for Veterans  (VetWire)  With the deadline for having to choose a health care plan looming, Veterans can breathe a bit easier with new eligibility options for a comprehensive health care package.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/24/14

Good news story of the day

Mizuno picks Myrtle Beach military vet for new ‘Play Famously’ golf campaign  (Beaufort Gazette)  Once Tony Taylor decided he was going to retire after eight years in the Marines, he had some time to contemplate his second career.

Military Transition News

Gouldsboro woman aids servicemen and women in transition to college life  (The Times-Tribune)  Lauren Runco Williams first became interested in the issues affecting today’s veterans through her ex-husband, an Army vet.

Fair gives veterans a chance to find jobs  (AZCentral)  A jobs and services fair to help veterans and their families find employment and avail themselves of appropriate government programs drew visitors and vendors to the Marist College campus Saturday.

Veteran and spouse job fair in Casper  (Trib.com)  A veteran and military spouse job fair will be in Casper from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Best Western Ramkota Inn and Conference Center.

Tequesta to pay veterans to attend police academy  (The Palm Beach Post)  Returning veterans can have their police academy training paid for by the village and then become Tequesta police officers.

Maine Conservation Corps sends warriors into wilderness with new veteran program (KJOnline)  Maine Army National Guard member Dylan Cookson loves his job.

Study: Student vets have higher graduation rates than nonvets  (Military Times)  Student veterans seeking associate and bachelor’s degrees under the GI Bill have slightly better graduation rates than their nonveteran peers, data from a new Student Veterans of America study suggests.

Veterans News

Non-profit takes military vets on helicopter hog hunt in North Texas  (KHOU)  The sound of a roaring helicopter is one many veterans haven’t heard since serving in the military, but a group of vets climbing into one Friday didn’t seem to miss a step.

Cuomo Holds Summit Benefiting Veterans and Military Families in New York  (LongIsland.com) Providing jobs, affordable housing and educational opportunities for veterans and military families were on the summit’s agenda.

Texas Sues ‘Veterans’ Group’ for Alleged Deceptive Practices  (Breitbart)  In a copy of court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas, the AG’s Office filed suit against The Veterans Support Organization (VSO), a Rhode Island 501(c)(3) organization and four officers, CEO Richard Vanhouten, Administrative Director Michelle Vanhouten, Director Steven Casella and Director Robert Cruz.

Interviewing Veterans-Enriching For Every Generation  (Algona.com)  More and more Americans are looking forward to the holidays—and other occasions—as a way to look back.

Veterans 5K Race scheduled Thursday  (TimesWV)  Pierpont Community & Technical College will hold its annual Veterans 5K Race on Thursday.

Marines and Veterans Ride Waves to Reconditioning with their families at Del Mar Beach  (CSRWire)  Injured Marines, veterans and their families took to the waves at Del Mar Beach at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base this morning as part of a special reconditioning program to help them heal from their wounds.

Veteran’s service project set to gear up  (Goshen News)  Aging veterans may not have to clean their gutters this spring.

Pierce County sheriff’s deputy kills ex-soldier in University Place  (The News Tribune)  A Pierce County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a 25-year-old former soldier late Friday after a confrontation in University Place.

After 70 years, WWII gunner finally accepts Purple Heart   (Air Force Times)  Richard Faulkner volunteered for the Army Air Forces on October 10, 1942, two days after he turned 18. Less than a year had passed since the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, and signing up, he believed, was his duty.

Benefits News

House bill would delay commissary budget cuts  (Military Times)  Another legislative proposal has been introduced to ward off cuts in commissary funding — at least until the commission that is studying all military compensation completes its work.

Military Pension Reform 2.0  (The Wall Street Journal)  The U.S. military’s current benefit system is unsustainable. Health care and retirement costs are spiraling upward as a percentage of the Pentagon budget, and the trajectory is already crowding out war-fighting capability.

Salem County Veterans Corner: Military service and Social Security benefits  (NJ.com)  There has been a lot of talk about veterans receiving their credit for military service on their Social Security benefit payments.

VA urged to make lung disease service-connected  (Military Times)  A New York congressman wants the Veterans Affairs Department to make a rare lung disease found in some Iraq and Afghanistan veterans service-connected, meaning having the condition automatically would rate compensation and care from VA.

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A few thoughts on job and career fairs, part 1: Niche Events like Military MOJO

I have participated in more career and job fairs than I can count, and I have also had plenty of conversations with others who have made the circuit of job-seeking events.  Many of those I chat with are frustrated, and some of them have reached the point of “job fair fatigue” that they are giving up on attending them.

A lot of their frustration comes from an unclear set of expectations for what job fairs are about.  Not all job fairs are the same, and not all career fairs have the same goals, opportunities, or areas of interest.  Just like everything else in life, job and career fairs are different, and if you don’t recognize that going in then you, as a participant, will likely become frustrated and disillusioned.

There are many different types of fairs, and each of them provides a different service and experience for the transitioning military or veteran participant as well as for the companies and organizations that attend.  The underlying goal for fairs is universally the same – to provide avenues to employment for vets and those in transition – but how that goal is achieved varies with each and every fair.  To help those who are not familiar with the differences am writing a string of posts to highlight different types of events.

The first type of career fair is one that is focused on a specific niche of transitioning military and veterans.  Military MOJO is one organization that specializes in matching transitioning and veteran military officers and noncommissioned officers who have earned college degrees.  They have four conferences spread across the country throughout the year (in Austin, Virginia Beach, Washington D.C., and San Diego)  Dozens of companies are on hand at each conference to meet with hundreds of veterans, and a part of the engagement process includes resume review and placement of resumes onto a database that is accessible by participating companies.

Military MOJO’s next conference goes in Austin, Texas on March 27 and 28.  To learn more about the conferences, you can read the Military MOJO Conference Press Release.  If you for some reason you cannot follow the link, I have reposted the contents of the release below:

MOJO (Military Officers Job Opportunities) is a premier hiring event pairing commissioned military officers, senior non-commissioned officers, and non-commissioned officers holding degrees with national employers seeking veterans for leadership opportunities.  MOJO will be hosting four events this year in Austin, TX; Virginia Beach, VA; Washington, DC and San Diego, CA. Candidates and companies interested in this unique opportunity are invited to visit Military MOJO’s new website at http://www.militarymojo.org for more information on how to attend.

These events will showcase Commissioned Officers (formerly and currently commissioned): meet exclusively with Junior Military Officers (JMOs) and Senior Military Officers (SMOs) from the ROTC, OCS, CWO (Chief Warrant Officers), National Guard and graduates from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, Naval Academy, West Point, Norwich College, The Citadel, Villanova, VMI, and other military schools. Senior Non-Commissioned Officers: meet with SNCOs (E-7, E-8, E-9) who are experienced high-potential, skilled leaders. They have hands-on technical and functional training, four-year college degrees.  Transitioning Non-Commissioned Officers:  meet with young, ambitious, college-degreed transitioning NCOs who potentially have previous corporate experience. These candidates have a minimum four year B.S. or B.A. degree from an accredited university and some have their MBA’s.  Candidates skill set/experience will include: STEM, Six Sigma/Supply Chain, Operations, Logistics, Project Management, Sales/Marketing, Manufacturing, Cyber/Intel, Consulting, Government/Defense, and many areas of Engineering.  Most candidates have TS/SCI, CI & FS POLY Clearances.

Candidate registration includes individual resume review and career coaching, a networking reception, industry seminars and face-to-face interactions with national companies. Our volunteer team in comprised of former military officers and corporate executives who are committed to the mission of supporting veterans transitioning into the private sector. Company registration includes booth space, interview space, a recruiter focus group (best practices military hiring), networking reception with complimentary food, beverage & bar. Companies will receive resumes of registered candidates 2-3 weeks prior to the career fair. There are no extra fees for hires. For a list of companies currently attending the event click here.

The dates and locations for the 2014 hiring events are:

  •     Austin, TX – March 27-28, 2014
  •     Virginia Beach, VA – June 19-20, 2014
  •     Washington, DC – September 25-26, 2014
  •     San Diego, CA – December 4-5, 2014 

Each event will feature a company check-in, recruiter focus group, industry seminars/sponsorships and networking reception on the Thursday prior to the career fair to bring the companies and candidates together. The career fair will take place on the following Friday from 9am-4pm with a one hour lunch break.  To learn more about the conference and registration for the different locations, visit http://www.militarymojo.org.

About Military MOJO: Military MOJO hosts exclusive hiring events throughout the year to pair military officers with high profile employers. The niche career conference showcases candidates who are currently and formerly commissioned officers: ROTC, OCS, Service Academy – West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, Citadel, VMI, VA Tech, Warrant Officers. Some in attendance will be Wounded Warriors Officers.  To learn more about Military MOJO and upcoming events, visit http://www.militarymojo.org.

Their career fair is a great example of one that focuses on a specific niche of veterans, and if you are in that group then you should certainly check it out.  In my next post we’ll take a look at job fairs on military bases.

 

Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/21/14

Good news story of the day

Marine lost leg, but not passion for serving  (The Tennessean)  Two and a half years ago Lance Cpl. Jeremy Vanhoose lost his leg in an explosion in Afghanistan, but the Marine did not lose his purpose: to serve.

Military Transition News

Military MOJO Announces 2014 National Hiring Events for Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officers  (PR Web)  MOJO (Military Officers Job Opportunities) is a premier hiring event pairing commissioned military officers, senior non-commissioned officers, and non-commissioned officers holding degrees with national employers seeking veterans for leadership opportunities.

Confusion continues over TERA, VSP application approvals  (Air Force Times)  Despite an announcement Saturday that the Air Force had decided to resume processing applications for voluntary separations and 15-year retirements after a “strategic pause,” airmen are still being told that processing is on hold, an airman told Air Force Times on Thursday.

New veterans’ initiative to aid transition to civilian life  (The Aiken Standard)  A business, education and nonprofit collaboration will lead to part-time employment opportunities for student veterans enrolled at the USC Aiken and Aiken Technical College campuses.

Higher jobless rates for Iraq, Afghanistan vets  (The Sacramento Bee)  Military veterans are having better luck finding jobs, outpacing their civilian counterparts in many states, but younger former troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan still lag behind.

The Ozarks: A ‘Good Place to be a Veteran and Get a Job’  (KSMU)  The Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Career Center in Springfield hosted the Hiring Our Heroes Veterans Job Fair Thursday, aimed at finding employment for military veterans and their spouses. KSMU’s Shane Franklin was in attendance, and has this report.

‘Transition GPS’ helps troops re-enter civilian world  (Hilltop Times)  Feedback on “Transition GPS,” which prepares service members to enter the civilian workforce, indicates it improves on the program it replaced, the director of the Defense Department’s Transition to Veterans Program office said here March 11.

Helping hand: Readiness course assists with job hunt  (Army Flier)  Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, once said that change is the only constant in life, and it was Louis Pasteur who is quoted as saying, “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”

Recent veterans struggle to find jobs  (USA Today)  Despite downward trends in unemployment across the country, veterans who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars still have difficulty finding work, according to government jobs data issued Thursday.

Veterans unemployment rises in Texas, falls nationally  (Dallas News)  The unemployment rate of military veterans rose in Texas last year, showing it’s still tough for returning soldiers to find a job even as the economy improves.

Veteran employment decrease first since 2001  (Dayton Daily News)  New Labor Department figures show the unemployment rate for working-age veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces since September 2001 edged down slightly in 2013, to 9.0 percent.

Veterans News

Governor Cuomo Holds First New York Veterans and Military Families Summit  (LongIsland.com) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today held the first New York State Veterans and Military Families Summit.

SBA working to get loans into veterans’ hands  (Rochester Business Journal)  Our nation’s veterans have served our country proudly and bravely. They are true American heroes, and we must make sure we’re doing everything possible to support them once they re-enter civilian life.

House committee moves bill to let judges consider PTSD, brain injury in sentencing combat vets  (The Republic)  The House Special Committee on Military and Veterans’ Affairs moved a bill Thursday allowing judges to consider post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries as a mitigating factor during sentencings of combat veterans.

Veterans fight the organic fight at Delaware Valley College training program  (Philly.com)  With his burly physique and woolly beard, Brandon Barnhart looks every inch the laid-back country kid from tiny West College Corner, Ind.

Tuskegee Airman recalls his career and an aviation pioneer honored on a new stamp  (The Washington Post)  The U.S. Postal Service has released a stamp in honor of C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, a black aviation pioneer who taught hundreds of Tuskegee Airmen as chief flight instructor at the historic Tuskegee Institute.

Benefits News

What’s in Veterans Affairs’ $164 Billion Budget?  (The New York Times)  The secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, last week, outlined President Obama’s 2015 budget for the department before hearings of the House and Senate veterans affairs committees, calling for total spending of $163.9 billion, a 6.5 percent increase from last year.

VA-DoD common records system may still be possible  (Military Times)  After being jilted again and again by the Pentagon in pursuit of a common digital health records system, the Veterans Affairs Department is hoping a new makeover will finally get its own system noticed — and perhaps get defense officials to commit to a long-term relationship after all.

Veterans First lives by this motto: Never say ‘no’ to a vet  (Orange Country Register)  We could talk about today’s ribbon-cutting. About the grand opening of a new Veterans First service center.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/20/14

Good news story of the day

Wounded Army vet ‘almost speechless’ as he takes keys to mortgage-free home  (Orlando Sentinel) Rashe Hall was a soldier in Afghanistan in 2006 when his Army platoon came under attack while on patrol.

Military Transition News

90 lieutenant colonels, 131 colonels selected for early retirement  (Air Force Times)  Ninety lieutenant colonels and 131 colonels were selected for early retirement by the Selective Early Retirement Board that met Dec. 9, according to data provided to Air force Times on Wednesday by the Air Force Personnel Center.

Coalition Hosts HIRING FAIR for Service Members and Veterans  (CNBC)  The Coalition for Alaska’s Service Members, Veterans and Families is joining forces with the Alaska National Guard and Army OneSource to host a HIRING FAIR, a one-day event with interactive workshops, job fair booths and transitional advisor stations.

PowerPathway Program Gives Veterans a Leg Up on Job Search  (ABC Local)  An innovative partnership is helping military veterans find work. The Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board, Fresno City College and PG&E’s PowerPathway, are joining forces to literally give students a “leg up” when it comes to finding employment.

Veterans job fair at Rider on Thursday  (The Trentonian)  Rider University has partnered with veteran friendly organizations to give America’s bravest a second chance to start a new career.

Program leads to 500th Wisconsin National Guard member getting hired  (Journal Sentinel)  Jim Reynolds was ready to retire from the Wisconsin National Guard and get a civilian job, but with high unemployment among the ranks of guardsmen he wasn’t sure he could find one.

Veterans News

Why Hiring Veterans Is Good for Business—and for America  (The Wall Street Journal)  America’s wartime heroes and their families need our help.

Michigan starts new effort to hire military veterans (MinBC News)  Veterans say trading in their camouflage for a suit and tie is a difficult transition. The new initiative coined Hiring our Hero’s Vet States Program, is trying to draw attention to veterans with invaluable experience right here in Michigan.

Vets could get college credit for service  (Dayton Daily News)  A state proposal could allow veterans returning home with valuable military experience to have an easier time getting college credit or professional licenses in Ohio.

Children of wounded ‘hidden casualties’ of war  (U-T San Diego)  Children of seriously wounded combat veterans are “the hidden casualties of war,” according to a study released Wednesday.

APNEWSBREAK: NYC INMATE ‘BAKED TO DEATH’ IN CELL  (AP) Jerome Murdough was just looking for a warm place to sleep on a chilly night last month when he curled up in an enclosed stairwell on the roof of a Harlem public housing project where he was arrested for trespassing.

Movement grows to honor fearless Irish immigrant killed while Marine in Vietnam War  (NY Daily News) In the predawn hours of July 18, 1966, Lance Cpl. Patrick (Bob) Gallagher was a long way from County Mayo, Ireland, which he had left a few years earlier to live with an aunt in Lynbrook, L.I., and seek new opportunity in America.

Missing U.S. service member from Vietnam to be laid to rest  (Military Times)  The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced March 18 that the remains of Army Staff Sgt. Lawrence Woods of Clarksville, Tenn., will be buried as part of group on March 21 at Arlington in a ceremony honoring the servicemen who were lost in an aircraft crash on Oct. 24, 1964.

Benefits News

Lifelong Pensions for Vets Could Be Whacked Under Pentagon Proposal  (Yahoo Finance)  Twenty years of service for a lifelong pension.

Free tax filing available for veterans  (The Courier)  The Military Veteran Resource Center will provide free income tax filing assistance for military veterans until April 15.

Manchester VAMC to host open house  (New Hampshire Union Leader)  The Manchester VAMC, 718 Smyth Road, is hosting an open house for new enrollments into VA Health Care on Monday, March 24, from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

More veterans taking advantage of Post-9/11 GI Bill  (Independent Mail) In the year since Clemson University launched its Student Veterans Success Center, its volunteer staff has worked to transform the small alcove in the School of Computing into a place where those transitioning from military to civilian life can connect with their peers.

Hayward veterans resource fair March 22  (Mercury News)  Veterans can get help with benefits claims and job information at a resource fair Saturday.

DiNapoli: Veterans services are underutilized  (Times Union)  This sounds like a classic governmentalese case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing: Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has found that lots of veterans in New York State rely on Medicaid for health care services rather than the federal Veterans Affairs organizations.

Senate bill would provide free treatment to veterans with traumatic brain injury  (The Oklahoman)  When Capt. Matt Smothermon came home from a deployment to Afghanistan with the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, he wasn’t the same person.

Dem bill fixes death benefits for fallen soldiers  (The Hill) Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would allow the Defense Department to continue making $100,000 “death gratuity” payments to the families of fallen soldiers, even during a government shutdown.

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