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COESGR Newsletter January 2014

COESGR Newsletter January 2014

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Colorado ESGR monthly newsletter
Colorado ESGR monthly newsletter

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Welcome to Colorado ESGR. Our purpose is to have an informative newsletter that will educate, inform, Welcome to Colorado ESGR. Our purpose is to have an informative newsletter that will educate, inform, Welcome to Colorado ESGR. Our purpose is to have an informative newsletter that will educate, inform, and promote service by and to ESGR while fulfilling our mission of supporting Employers, Guard/Reserve and promote service by and to ESGR while fulfilling our mission of supporting Employers, Guard/Reserve and promote service by and to ESGR while fulfilling our mission of supporting Employers, Guard/Reserve members, Military and Veteran Employment Initiatives and our COESGR Volunteers.members, Military and Veteran Employment Initiatives and our COESGR Volunteers.members, Military and Veteran Employment Initiatives and our COESGR Volunteers. 
January 2014
Chairman’s Message:
 State of Colorado ESGR for Year 2013
 As we enter into Year 2014, I would like to report to you on how ESGR did in this past year. And in my hopefully unbiased way, I think we did pretty well. But we still have a ways to go. On most of our metrics that we are measured by, we did extremely well. Our ESGR Volunteer base continued to grow, as did our Volunteer Hours. We are working to improve on the number of Guard and Reserve that we brief, and in our Ombudsman efforts, as those were our two areas that we need to improve upon. With the Freedom Award, we were the only state to have all three of our nominees in the top 30 finalists (out of some 2889 nominees), and two of those were selected for the prestigious Freedom Award. We are very proud of our two winners: DaVita, Inc, and Colorado Springs Utilities, and finishing in the top thirty is not exactly bad either, for JGMS, of Grand Junction. We were heavily involved in helping our Guard and Reserve members in their employment efforts. We organized and helped structure and run two of our three day Military and Veterans Employment
EXPO’s, one in Denver in January 2013, and the other in Colorado Springs in May of 2013. We recently distributed our Report on the five MVEE’s that we have held during the last two years, and
are satisfied that the results we have obtained from these events, usually servicing over 1000 Guard and Reserve, active duty military, retired, and spouses at each, are significantly much better than the typical job fairs so many put on or better in fact than any other type of hiring event that we are aware of. Our  Annual Awards Banquet continued to draw close to 400 guests, with this year being honored by
having our ESGR’s new National Chairman, Mr. Paul Mock, in attendance, speaking at the Banquet and remaining for our Saturday’s Volunteer Conference. We are already planning this year’s Banquet
for May 30, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in the Tech Center, again with several top notch speakers. The following day (Saturday, May 31) is our once a year All Volunteer Conference, and this year we are pushing hard on a greater turnout of our Volunteers, as this is the only time during a year where we try to get all our Volunteers together. We started this year to hold a leadership course for those ESGR Volunteers who aspire to play more leading roles in ESGR. The day and a half event was attended by some 20 Colorado ESGR Volunteers who applied to attend, as well as two ESGR Volunteers from Wyoming. We think there is value in having Volunteers from surrounding states attend which brings about cross fertilization of ideas and approaches. We are going to do this again this year, with the dates being now selected.
Continued next page…….
We are trying very hard to work with more employers and are achieving some success. We want those employers to not only support and value the employment and military service of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States, but to realize and utilize the employment services available to them from governmental entities that they are already funding through their taxes which will reduce their costs in hiring and retaining employees. So through individual contacts with more of our Colorado employers, through our MVEEs, through our meetings with the BOSS program and our BOSSLIFTs, through our Awards Banquet and other employer meetings, through our growing efforts of publicizing our efforts, through continuing to expand our reach throughout the state by having ESGR Area Chairs now in some 11 localities (and soon to grow to 13), and through the dedicated and substantial efforts of our ESGR Volunteers, we continue to make real progress here in Colorado. To your employers, thank you working with us, for supporting our efforts, and for realizing the value that our military service members bring to your workplace. So for all our ESGR Volunteers, a most sincere thank you. You can take full credit for the advances we have and are making.
Dick Young, RADM, USN (Ret) Chairman, Colorado State Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
Dawanta Parks, an enthusiastic new member of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, has been recognized as volunteer of the month. Accepting the position of Co-Director of Employment Initiatives, he brings extensive experience as a veteran and as an
administrator, being presently employed as Veterans’
Representative for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. In fact, working with this department is where he first learned about ESGR. Separating from the military as Army Infantry Staff Sergeant Dawanta Parks, he comes to us as a veteran himself. With eleven service years in the Oklahoma Army National Guard which he  joined after a high school membership in the Air Force ROTC, he
knows first hand the veteran’s pride along with the trials and tribulations. He is a two time combat
veteran: Bosnia,2001-2001, and Afghanistan, 2002-2003.  After service to our country, he followed up with an impressive set of educational achievements in
the areas which would enable him to reach his goals. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Management from Oklahoma State University; a Bachelor’s Degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma; a Master’s Degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma; a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Denver; and is planning to
pursue yet another 
 Advanced Administrative Strategic Human Resources. Parks says that his decision to join ESGR was motivated by the desire to help veterans find work,
and that his time in the military imparted in him the NCO’s values he carries with him today —
specifically, to support military personnel in their endeavors
 and he lives by the model that it is extremely important that we take care of our veterans in helping them to find employment.
We at ESGR feel sure that volunteering with this organization will help him reach his goals, and that his expertise and dedication will be of definite value to our group.
January 2014, Volunteer of the Month Spotlight
Jobs program connects Reserve, Guard members to employers
, A
 Two years ago, the civilian employment situation for members of the National Guard and reserve was bleak
. The economy had taken a downturn, causing unemployment rates nationwide to rise, including rates for veterans. But particularly troubling to Ronald Young, executive director of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, was that unemployment among reserve component members hit a record high of 13 percent in 2011.
“It was higher than for the general population and almost double that of the veteran population,”
Young said.
“So we took a very aggressive approach to instituting employment initiative  programs across the country to get at that challenge.” 
The cornerstone of that effort was the
“Hero 2 Hired”
program, created to make it easy for reserve-component service members to connect to and find jobs with military-friendly companies.
“We put together a comprehensive program that used a very high
tech approach,”
Young said, including online career exploration tools, military-to-civilian skills translations, education and training resources and even a mobile app. To support the program, 56 employment transition coordinators, many of them ESGR volunteers, fanned out to every corner of the United States to provide career counseling and resume assistance to  job-seekers and to interface with employers seeking to fill positions.
“We saw this as an opportunity to leverage the 4,900 ESGR volunteers and their day 
-to-day interface with employers to talk about what great business sense it makes to employ Guard and
reserve members,” 
 Young said. In addition, a vehicle known as the Hero 2 Hired mobile job store regularly rolls into career fairs and
other venues to deliver the job search resources where it’s easily accessible by the military community.
Small kiosks that rotate between Guard and reserve units also help increase awareness of the program.
Guard and reserve members make great employees, Young said. They’re strong leaders and
outstanding followers, exhibiting loyalty, dedication and motivation to their missions. They demonstrate
other attributes that employers are clamoring for: professionalism, responsibility, punctuality, a “can
attitude, understanding of diversity and an ability to remain calm under pressure, among them. But when Young met with corporate leaders during a Clinton Global Initiative session in 2011, he
recognized that employers didn’t know how to tap into this potential.
“Across the board, the one thing they said was, „We want to hire them. We just don‟t know how to get access to them,‟”
he said. Two years since its standup, Hero 2 Hired is helping to bridge that gap. Almost 20,000 employers now post their job announcements on the Hero 2 Hired jobs website. The site, which 151,000 service members and their spouses now use, provides not only leads about job openings but also information about interview skills, resume templates and links to employment resources. Young attributes more than 11,000 hires to the program. In addition, through Hero 2 Hire's partnership with the Joining Forces initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, and other public- and private-sector job programs, he estimates that 100,000 reserve component members and veterans have landed jobs.
“This is a way to link together those looking for jobs and those looking to fill jobs with veterans and Guard and reserve members,”
Young said.
“We are just one of the contributing partners working at attacking this particular issue. But we believe we are having a definite impact.” 
Continued next page…….
to connect to employment opportunities

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