FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
By Lt. Col. Jon Carrico, Jr.
Having an expert on-hand who recognizes the unique skills, talents and abilities associated with serving the nation can make a tremendous difference for a candidate seeking the right fit. According to Ms. Erin Thede, director of the Employment Partnership Office, the service of Soldiers over the past decade has not gone unnoticed.
“A growing number of employers are looking to veterans as potential employees, some out of a sense of patriotism, but in many cases they are simply recognizing a pool of candidates with the skills and experience to enrich their organization,” said Thede. “Transition Employment Liaisons are the newest advocates available to help Soldiers and veterans navigate a difficult job market.”
More than 300,000 veterans will enter the job market over next four years. Transitioning to a civilian career can be challenging. TELs are experts in recognizing specialized capabilities and assisting transitioning active duty Soldiers seeking employment opportunities. “TELs not only have a working relationship with many civilian organizations, they also have access to job portals and hiring networks that feature employers interested in hiring veterans and Soldiers,” said Angel Faggins, program manager for the EPO. “Our liaisons are working to reduce the veteran unemployment rate by using an EPO-maintained network of employment specialists whose established relationships with local and national employers are vital in assisting Soldiers.”
TELs provide employment assistance to Soldiers at specific military posts as they transition from active duty. As Soldiers depart active duty and relocate to other parts of the country, the TELs refer Soldiers to Army Career Employment Specialists who are geographically-dispersed throughout the country. ACES receive the Soldier and provide continued support, resume development/enhancement, application process support, interview assistance, and jobs skills translation.
“I’m so excited to be in a position to help military families as they transition to civilian life,” said Jason Cowee, the transition employment liaison at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “I consider it a privilege to serve these great Americans, and I consider it a privilege to be a voice for veterans as I educate and encourage employers to consider the value our veterans bring to their organization.”
Along with the network maintained by EPO, TELs have the depth and breadth of experience necessary to assist Soldiers. TELs are former service members who have first-hand knowledge of the transition process. Many of them were non-commission officers with assignments as recruiters or military career counselors. They are armed with a vast array of tools to assist service members as they leave active duty.
In order to best assist service members’ transition to the civilian workforce, TELs are co-located with Transition Assistance Career Counselors, who assist Soldiers interested in continuing their military career in the reserve component while completing the Transitional Assistance Program at their local Army Career Alumni Program office. TELs use the “Hero-2-Hired” job portal site (H2H.jobs) for veterans/transitioning military and Reserve Component service member.
According to Pfc. Luis Morales, “The Hero 2 Hired website really works. While I was in a TAP class, I went to the website and posted my resume. In the next 30 minutes, Martin-Brower, a global logistics company, contacted me. When I spoke with them, they were doing interviews in the education center where I was taking the TAP class. I interviewed and got hired on the spot.”
Soldiers can contact the local TEL at their installation transition point for assistance. TELs are located at seven installations: Fort Campbell, Fort Belvoir, Fort Bragg, Fort Stewart, Fort Sill, Fort Hood and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. By the fall, EPO will expand TEL coverage to nine additional locations. The proposed new locations include Fort Knox, Fort Drum, Fort Jackson, Fort Gordon, Fort Bliss, Fort Carson, Fort Irwin, Fort Riley and Fort Leonard Wood. If you are not at one of these installations, you may still leverage TEL services by creating a job-seeker account on H2H.jobs indicating that you would like to receive personal counseling assistance.
So what are you waiting for? Get that jumpstart on your next life’s adventure and visit www.usar.army.mil/employerpartnership for more information about EPO, TELs, and specialized civilian employment case management. You can also find EPO on social media by searching for EPO careers.