A few thoughts on how the military Transition Assistance Program could be improved

I was recently asked how the military Transition Assistance Program could be improved.  Having spent literally years working in the military transition and veteran space I have made several observations about the various TAP seminars, which are a few days long and occur just before the servicemember goes on terminal leave.  Anyhow, these are some of my impressions about TAP:
1. It is unrealistic to unpack a servicemember’s experience in terms of future employment in three or four days. One of the most difficult part of transition is figuring out what to do next, and it takes time for a person in uniform to really dissemble their skills, talents, and experiences in such a manner that they determine what they want to do after getting out. In my experience, transition courses focus on the technical aspects of transition without addressing the bigger issues. Teaching a servicemember how to write a cover letter and a resume, about elevator speeches, and about interviewing techniques are all incredibly valuable. However, what’s missing is helping the servicemember be able to effectively translate their skills and experiences in such a manner that they are a compelling candidate for a company to hire. The bigger issue in transition is “What value do I present to a company such that they will write me a check to work there?” The fact that a veteran served is not enough, and I would say that if a company hires a veteran just because he or she is a veteran then that vet is not set up for success. Companies hire people who fill a specific job in the company, and those specific jobs require specific skills. Being a veteran is not a skill. It is a tremendous experience, but it is not a skill.
2. I think the narrative is often misguided. Very few transition courses depict the civilian sector the way it really is, and instead teach techniques to pursue employment that are decades out of date. Becoming employable means building yourself as a brand which presents value to the employer – that is the way to find meaningful employment. Presenting yourself as “needing a chance” to show yourself is not compelling to an employer when there are dozens of other candidates with the skills required to get the job. The narrative that somehow the American public owes a veteran a job is damaging and frankly utterly incorrect. Americans paid their taxes and every recent veteran volunteered – Americans will buy you a drink and thank you for your service, but that is a completely different conversation from offering you a job. You, the veteran, must do your part to make yourself as competitive as a civilian who has never served, which means you must retrain if necessary, present your skills in such a manner that they match the needs of a company, and present yourself as a cultural fit for the organization.
3. Transition courses are too little, too late. They are positioned (logically) at the end of the term of service, but unfortunately many of the lessons presented are not really appreciated until the person has hung up their uniform for good. In most cases the transition courses are rushed as the EAS/ETS rapidly approaches, and the veteran does not have a chance to take advantage of the training and mentorship opportunities available. My recommendation would be to conduct transition training in two phases; first, at the six month from EAS mark there should be an initial seminar to help the serviceman or woman learn how to deconstruct their skills and talents in order to understand what value they can present to an employer and then present the traditional TAP/TRS towards the end of their service.

Anyhow, this just my my $0.02.

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Only a week to go until the B. Braun and MVPVets Recareering event. There are seats remaining and still time to register!

Only a week to go!!  There are still seats- register now if you are in the Allentown area!

BETHLEHEM, Pa., Dec. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, B. Braun Medical Inc. (B.Braun) will partner with the MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program (www.mvpvets.org) to conduct a re-careering event for transitioning military and veterans, which will be hosted at B.Braun’s Allentown, PA manufacturing facility.

Military personnel in transition from the service and honorably discharged veterans are invited to apply for the opportunity to participate in this free one-day seminar that brings veterans together with mentors from the medical technology industry.  During the event veterans will participate in active sessions that include resume review and refinement, job interview training and rehearsals, creating a professional resume to electronically apply online through a company’s career website, and networking.  B.Braun will also consider participants for internship opportunities.

Details:

Address: 901 Macron Boulevard, Allentown, PA  18109 (main cross streets are Macron Blvd. and N. Irving Sreet)

Registration: 9 – 9:30am.  Event will start promptly at 9:30 am and will conclude at 4:00 pm; pre-registration is required

Cost: There is no cost for participating veterans.  All materials, breakfast, lunch, and parking are provided free of charge.

Registration: Transitioning military and veterans interested in participating in the program can register at the MVPvets website (http://www.mvpvets.org/mvpvets-event-interest-form).  Pre-registration is required and space is limited to 20 participants.

About B. Braun:

B. Braun Medical Inc. (B.Braun), a leader in infusion therapy and pain management, develops, manufactures, and markets innovative medical products and services to the healthcare industry. The Company is committed to eliminating preventable treatment errors and enhancing patient, clinician and environmental safety. Guided by its “Sharing Expertise®” philosophy, B.Braun continuously exchanges knowledge with customers, partners and clinicians to address the critical issues of improving care and lowering costs.

The B.Braun Group of Companies in the U.S. includes B.Braun, B.Braun Interventional Systems, Aesculap® and CAPS®. B.Braun’s U.S. headquarters is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The B.Braun Group of Companies employs more than 50,000 employees in more than 60 countries throughout the world. To learn more about B.Braun visit www.BBraunUSA.com.

About the MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program (MVPvets):

MVPvets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to bring 5,000 veterans and transitioning military into the Life Sciences by 2018.  MVP brings training and mentorship together with an integrated collaborative online portal and eLearning in a concerted effort to help veterans re-career into meaningful careers in the MedTech and BioTech industries.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140708/124944

SOURCE MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program

Two weeks left to register for the B. Braun and MVPVETS Veteran and Transitioning Military Re-careering Event in Allentown, Pennsylvania

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     Great news about an opportunity for Pennsylvania area veterans and transitioning military to participate in a free daylong workshop with B. Braun.  The company is eager to hire veterans, and this is a tremendous opportunity to learn more about the company, the job opportunities available, and to work on job seeking skills such as social media branding, resume refinement, and interview preparation.  If you are in the Allentown area, check it out!

BETHLEHEM, Pa., Jan. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, B. Braun Medical Inc. (B.Braun) will partner with the MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program (www.mvpvets.org) to conduct a re-careering event for transitioning military and veterans, which will be hosted at B.Braun’s Allentown, PA manufacturing facility.

Military personnel in transition from the service and honorably discharged veterans are invited to apply for the opportunity to participate in this free one-day seminar that brings veterans together with mentors from the medical technology industry. During the event veterans will participate in active sessions that include resume review and refinement, job interview training and rehearsals, creating a professional resume to electronically apply online through a company’s career website, and networking. B.Braun will also consider participants for internship opportunities.

Details:

Address: 901 Macron Boulevard, Allentown, PA 18109 (main cross streets are Macron Blvd. and N. Irving Sreet)

Registration: 9 – 9:30am. Event will start promptly at 9:30 am and will conclude at 4:00 pm; pre-registration is required

Cost: There is no cost for participating veterans. All materials, breakfast, lunch, and parking are provided free of charge.

Registration: Transitioning military and veterans interested in participating in the program can register at the MVPvets website (http://www.mvpvets.org/mvpvets-event-interest-form). Pre-registration is required and space is limited to 20 participants, and there are only two weeks remaining to register.

About B. Braun:

B. Braun Medical Inc. (B.Braun), a leader in infusion therapy and pain management, develops, manufactures, and markets innovative medical products and services to the healthcare industry. The Company is committed to eliminating preventable treatment errors and enhancing patient, clinician and environmental safety. Guided by its “Sharing Expertise®” philosophy, B.Braun continuously exchanges knowledge with customers, partners and clinicians to address the critical issues of improving care and lowering costs.

The B.Braun Group of Companies in the U.S. includes B.Braun, B.Braun Interventional Systems, Aesculap® and CAPS®. B.Braun’s U.S. headquarters is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The B.Braun Group of Companies employs more than 50,000 employees in more than 60 countries throughout the world. To learn more about B.Braun visit http://www.BBraunUSA.com.

About MVPvets:

MVPvets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to bring 5,000 veterans and transitioning military into the Life Sciences by 2018. MVP brings training and mentorship together with an integrated collaborative online portal and eLearning in a concerted effort to help veterans re-career into meaningful careers in the MedTech and BioTech industries.

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