Area Employers Learn About The Benefits To Hiring Military Personnel

Oskaloosa Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt exits an Iowa Army National Guard Ch-47 Chinook helicopter after a short flight over Oskaloosa.

 

Oskaloosa, Iowa – How do those skills learned in the military translate to the civilian world? How will those skills benefit my company? These and many more questions were answered during a day-long seminar hosted by IowaWORKS of Southern Iowa and the Iowa Army National Guard.

The morning started with a rapid fire interviewing that allowed employers to meet with job seekers in initial 3 to 4 minute interviews. This allowed job seekers an opportunity to give employers their “60 second elevator pitch” and to present them with a copy of their resume.

Over the noon hour, an employer resource workshop was held, where employers and community leaders heard from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESRG) during a working lunch period.

During the civil leader event, attendees were able to see, touch, and experience equipment and services, provided by the local Iowa Army National Guard, to become familiar with military equipment like vehicles, communication equipment, logistics and  HVAC repair. The event ended with a flight aboard a CH-47F Chinook helicopter.

Major Brock Bockenstedt with the Iowa Army National Guard said that the Iowa Workforce Development, ESRG, and recruiting battalion within the state of Iowa decided that they wanted to do a community event. What was decided was an outreach to employers to create a better understanding of what national guard, reserve members and veterans bring to their business.

“There are aspects of this that directly tie into Home Base Iowa,” says Bockenstedt. The program isn’t part of Home Base Iowa. Home Base Iowa works to connect veterans to careers and resources in Iowa communities. In some cases, communities put together incentive packages to entice veterans to move to their community.

Bockenstedt spoke with employers during the day to help employers with what the requirements are of both employers and employees that are members.

The training those guard members receive is often a benefit for employers. “We offer great specialty skills, specifically here in the maintenance company,” added Bockenstedt of the technical skills acquired by soldiers during their monthly and yearly training times.

Bockenstedt added that the national guard works to help employers understand how a military job skill relates to a civilian job skill.

“This is a great opportunity for employers to gain a better understanding about what the Iowa Army National Guard has to offer,” explained Bockenstedt. “It also give us an opportunity for us to say thank you to them and make sure they realize we’re here to support the community.

Bockenstedt said there are “great benefits” for individuals interested in the Iowa Army National Guard, which include the Education Assistance Program that is in addition to the G.I. Bill. It helps soldiers not only go to college, but gain job skills that will benefit them in the civilian jobs.

Bockenstedt said that the Chinook helicopter landing during the day was an opportunity to show employers a little bit of what they do. “A Chinook flight is a great event for employers,” which gives them an opportunity to see and understand the steps that go into making it work.

Sgt. Seth Fuller lives in Grinnell and is a member of the Iowa National Guard working as flight engineer on a CH-47 F Chinook helicopter. Fuller has many duties with the aircraft, both before and during flight.

Fuller said that challenges faced by guard members can be scheduling conflicts with their civilian employers. Helping to create the communication that helps employers know why soldiers may be taking time away is an important part of their duties, while receiving support from ESGR to facilitate that communication.

Fuller works for an ESGR recognized company, which helps in minimizing scheduling conflicts that may arrive. Company support of guard members, like Fuller, made possible the flight that took place at the Oskaloosa Airport.

Oskaloosa and Mahaska County have recently put in place steps to be a Home Base Iowa community. Oskaloosa Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt spoke about recruiting veterans to come back to the State of Iowa and communities like Oskaloosa.

Krutzfeldt said that the day’s events helped him better understand the legislation behind the Home Base Iowa initiative, and the quality of individuals that would be part of the program. Krutzfeldt said that the information helped him be better educated about the leadership and types of citizens to expect.

Having the opportunity to ride in a Chinook helicopter, Krutzfeldt says, “You bet. You want to be in on that.”

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Posted by on Jul 16 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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