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 members, Military and Veteran Employment Initiatives and our COESGR Volunteers.
2013 Year End Issue
Colorado Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve has had a notable and successful 2013 and is looking forward to 2014. Our current force of 183 volunteers have accomplished a great many things in their putting in over 15,368 volunteer hours. Starting with Employer Outreach, in which 8,352 have been “influenced” with the mission and goals of ESGR. By “influenced” we mean that volunteers have spoken to employers about ESGR through group presentations, question and answer sessions, Trade Shows, events like breakfast or lunch with the boss, and employer recognition via ESGR awards events and finally our MVEEs. One of our main programs is the Statement of Support program in which volunteers obtained 1,367 employer Statements of Support for Guard and Reserve service members. The intent of the program is to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of our nation’s Guard and Reserve units. Over 164 supervisors received recognition through the Patriot Award program. The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed. Patriot Awards are awarded to individual supervisors, not to an entire staff or organization as a whole. At our Annual Employer Recognition and Awards Banquet, Colorado employers were invited to an evening of conversation, dinner, and honoring and presenting employers with ESGR awards, such as the Pro Patria, Seven Seals, and Above and Beyond for their efforts in supporting Colorado’s Guard and Reserve members. Of “special note” is that Colorado had two recipients for the Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, Colorado Springs Utilities and Davita, Inc. The Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. Each year, Guard and Reserve employees, or a family member acting on their behalf, have the opportunity to nominate their employer for the Freedom Award. The ESGR State Committees review nominations and submit recommendations to advance to the next round in each of the three categories: small employer, large employer and the public sector. A national selection board comprised of senior DoD officials, business leaders and prior awardees select up to 15 employers to receive the Secretary’s prestigious award.
Our Military Outreach teams briefed 8,966 military members via liaison and Yellow Ribbon programs. Through the ESGR Ombudsman Services Program which provides information and mediation on issues related to USERRA, our specially trained Ombudsmen have assisted members of the Guard and Reserve in resolving disputes with their civilian employers related to military service in the uniformed services through neutral and impartial mediation. One of Colorado ESGR’s main goals is that of an Employment Initiative. Partnering with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the U.S Department of Labor (VETS), the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Denver Regional Office, and ESGR, a unique program was developed in what is called Military and Veterans Employment EXPO (MVEE), which includes many local chambers of commerce, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, many local veteran related organizations, and other groups have successfully conducted with five Expos to date in Colorado. The following is a brief report on what these MVEE’s have accomplished in Colorado. The complete report can be read by clicking here.
REPORT ON COLORADO’s FIVE MILITARY AND VETERANS EMPLOYMENT EXPO’s
May 22, 2011 to May 17, 2013 INTRODUCTION In the early spring of 2009, as the recession was starting to really take effect and the unemployment rate of our Guard and Reserve, as well as for returning veterans started spiraling upwards, the then Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) met with the new State Chair of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to discuss whether there was anything those two organizations could do to help these military service members obtain employment. This initial meeting led to follow up meetings and began involving a number of those who were also focusing on this growing problem. These meetings led to two conclusions. First, there was a need, a strong need, for the many organizations trying to help our military service members find jobs to coordinate their efforts and work in collaboration, as there were simply too many organizations all trying to help but in effect stepping on each others’ toes, thus diluting their effectiveness and wasting valuable energy and time. Second, that the typical one day, oftentimes only a few hours long, “ job fair” was for the most part ineffective, as very few, if any, military service members were ever hired by attending those job fairs. Furthermore, too many of the job fairs were fee based, with the companies coming having to pay a fee to have a table. The most recent MVEE, hosted by Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on May 15, 16, and 17, 2013 is discussed in some detail. The four previous MVEEs, while they vary somewhat from the data collected at our last MVEE, are quite similar, with the biggest difference being the MVEEs in Colorado Springs show a larger percentage of attendees being on active duty.
H2H Mobile Van
Results were measured in a number of different ways . We requested both employers and attendees to fill out Printed Questionnaires and turn those in before they left. We received usually about 30 to 40% of the attendees would turn them in. The percentage of employers that would turn them in was slightly less percentage wise.
Questionnaires, both for those attending and the Employers, were given to each and collected. Questions asked of the Attendees were about the quality of the MVEE. And here we received overwhelming praise. Other questions asked were: number of resumes accepted by the employers you visited; were you interviewed or was an interview scheduled for you; were you offered a job; and if so, did you accept the job. From the Employers, for the most part, their responses on the quality of the MVEE were the same as from the attendees. Some handwriting in remarks said it was a great event, thanks to those who put it on. Questions asked were: did you accept resumes; did you interview/set up interviews; did you make and job offers: and did you hire anyone. We also sent our e-mail questionnaires four different times; once following the event, 30 days after the event, 60 days after the event, and 90 days after the event, asking basically this same information. Lastly, we followed up with personal telephone calls to a number of employers who attended but had not turned in their written questionnaires or responded to any of our e-mails.
We also found a dramatic improvement in interviewing, getting job offers, and accepting job offers for those attendees who took the classes the first two days of the MVEE. Looking at those Attendees who took classes the first two days (732 of the 1305 Attendees) nearly 14% were placed in jobs as opposed to less than 1% of those who took no classes The same percentage existed for those who were offered jobs. 18% of those who took the classes were interviewed vs. 3% of those who took no classes. While nationally the unemployment rate for veterans has continued to drop from its high in 2010 (8.7%) to now 6.5% in September 2013, the national unemployment rate for younger veterans, identified as Gulf War II veterans, indicates it has not dropped as far, from 11.5% in 2010 to 10.1% in September 3013.* Colorado Unemployment Statistics show the same trend as the National statistics with the veterans’ unemployment rate dropping from its high in 2011 to 8.4% in 2012. Colorado unemployment rates for Gulf War I and/or Gulf War II Veterans could not be found. While Guard and Reserve unemployment statistics could not be found either nationally or for Colorado, for the Colorado National Guard, which comprises some 40% of the total Guard and Reserve members in Colorado, their unemployment rate has dropped considerably from what it was believed to be several years ago (some 16 to 24%, to today’s some 4.1%). Even if that number is underreported, it still shows remarkable progress. This significant drop is believed caused by several factors. First, the personal attention and effort placed on the Guard’s command structure by Colorado’s Adjutant General, and his continuing follow through on making sure his entire command is aware of and actively working to keep this unemployment rate at a low level. The second is having one Staff person (Kathleen Dorram) work full time on reducing the unemployment rate of Colorado National Guard members. She has worked tirelessly in this effort. And third, the Colorado National Guard, being a part of the coordinated effort in Colorado described above, maximizes its efficiency and effectiveness in reducing its unemployment rate.
One of the conclusions for those of us who have been involved in working to get our Reserve Component members as well as our Veterans and their spouses employed, is the belief and firm commitment that the efforts directed at this problem must be coordinated and worked as a whole, rather than each entity, whether a governmental, a nonprofit, a private for profit, or a volunteer entity, going it on their own. Too much energy and resources are wasted by duplication and redundancy. The unstinting effort of Elaine Edon and many of the CDLE’s staff were invaluable to making these the successes they were. And the same to Jason Shireman of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Denver Regional Office) who served as the ESGR MVEE Coordinator and, literally devoted hundreds of his personal hours to this effort. And lastly to the many ESGR volunteers and others who devoted literally hundreds of hours in making these three day MVEE’s run as smoothly and effectively have they have. And by the way, these MVEEs are totally free for not only all the attendees, but to the employers as well, unlike many advertized job fairs where employers are required to pay “rent” for a table at the event. We are satisfied that we can with a good deal of confidence state that the employment rate from our MVEE’s are in the range of 15% or higher for those who attend and participate in the first two days. Second, we firmly believe that the structure of our MVEE makes these events so much more valuable, bringing about measurable results, as opposed to the typical job fair where statistically few, if any, veterans are ever hired and no effort is made to measure their effectiveness. And some of the best evidence backing up our belief is that companies that have attended one or more of our MVEEs are standing in line to be sure to be included in our next one. They find many more qualified candidates and at a much lower cost than at other “hiring events.” Furthermore, we are now seeing many more stand alone “job fairs” adopting our approach: offering classes for the attendees first; and secondly, starting to require the attending employers to come with real jobs and to bring their hiring authority with them (to handle at least the preliminary interview there on the spot). Our next MVEE is scheduled tentatively for May 2013 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. On behalf of the members of our MOU,
Richard E. Young State Chair, Colorado ESGR
Colorado recipient of the 2013 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, DaVita, Inc. hosted a special Veteran's Day event on November 11, 2013.
Pictured left to right: Mike Mitchel, Paul Linton, Paul Schofield, Cori Keuler (DaVita) , Pete Callaway.
Statement of Support Signing (SOS)
A Statement of Support was presented at a MillerCoors Veteran's Day Event.
In the picture from left to right: Maggie Rothemel (MillerCoors), Chris Kitchen (MillerCoors and U.S. Navy Captain), Brian Bartony (ESGR and South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce), Rick White (ESGR Denver Area Co-Chair Employer Outreach and Oasis Outsourcing), Brenda Smull (VFW and ESGR), Bev Skinner (ESGR Colordo Co-Director Employer Outreach), Jackie Rodriquez (Colorado National Guard, ESGR and Gonzales Consulting Services), Paul Savastino (VP and GM MillerCoors). The presentation was made by ESGR Volunteer Brian Bartony.
MOUNTAIN STATES LUMBER AND BUILDING DEALERS ASSOCIATION, INC. received a Statement of Support from Colorado Dan Lowe Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, October 30, 2013, in a ceremonial presentation before several hundred attendees, including many of the dealers from the organization which covers 5 ½ states. Mountain States was honored for the number of ways it supports the Guard and Reserve and also Military veterans. The specific event was a fund-raiser held in part to help HEALING WATERS FLY FISHING, INC., an organization dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active and veteran military personnel through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings. This project is only one example of their collective efforts to thank our military. They Sherma Erholm Richard Young Geri Adams have found another, a new, mode of support— DEALERS HELPING HEROES—a fledgling program assisting wounded veterans in remodeling, renovating, or building a home that will work for their specific disabilities. These veterans are matched with local dealers who help in receiving builder referrals, free or discounted materials, installation services, and the like. One of their biggest commitments is in employment. They actively seek to employ Guard and Reserve members, and especially veterans. To this end, each of the companies conduct their own endeavors, while the overall organization holds a huge annual employment exposition to aid in job searches and employment exclusively for military personnel. Represented by Rear Admiral Richard Young, (Ret.), and volunteer Sherma Erholm, ESGR was proud to present the Statement of Support, to President, Dan Lowe and Executive Vice President Geri Adams, Mountain States Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association.
Click the book title below to read a description of its contents and download the handbook for FREE. To order a printed copy, visit the Military Handbooks page at Lulu.com. 2014 After the Military Handbook 2014 Base Installation Directory 2014 Benefits for Veterans and Dependents 2014 Getting Uncle Sam to Pay for your College Degree 2014 Guard and Reserve Military Handbook 2014 Military Children's Scholarship Handbook 2014 United States Military Handbook 2014 United States Military Retired Handbook 2014 Veteran's Healthcare Benefits Handbook
Merry Christmas and a Joyous Holiday Season from your Colorado ESGR!
Scammers Never Take a Holiday - Keep Your Holidays Happy and Bright!
Tips Against Identity Theft *
It's true, scammers never take a holiday. In fact, they bet on you paying more attention to gift buying and looking for good deals then protecting your identity. As the holidays approach, the opportunity for theft and scams increase. "Special offers" through e-mail, texts and other digital advertising feed off the holiday buying frenzy. Consumers can and should take advantage of good deals online. But all that convenience can create easy pickings for con artists. Credit cards do have built-in protections, but nothing will ruin your holidays more than a stolen identity.
Here are some tips to ensure your holidays are happy and bright. Don't get so caught up in getting a good deal that you forego checking on the authenticity of the site and the company. Consider buying online from companies that you are familiar with. Clicking on a promo ad to chase a good deal might just land you on a fake website. It's better to go directly to the company's website, than "clicking through" and risking landing on a look-alike website. If the cost on that designer purse looks too good to be true; it probably is. Shop on protected sites. You'll know the site is secure by checking the web address. A secure site will show a padlock icon and the address field will have "https" (the "s" means secure). What's in your wallet? : ~ Carry only one credit card. If you lose your wallet, you only have one card to cancel. ~ Never carry your social security card or any card with your social security number on it. ~ Do you have a Medicare card? - Then your social security number is on it! Make a copy of your Medicare card, then black out the first five numbers. Your physician's office will take the copy as indication of coverage. ~ Don't carry your PIN number. Crooks can use your PIN to access your bank accounts. Are your account numbers and passwords on your mobile phone? Password protect your phone. It may be a bother to have to enter your password, but it's a bigger bother to track down all the information stored on your phone. Your glove compartment is not a secret hiding place. Thieves will break into your car and go right to the glove compartment to access valuable information including your home address, and personal data. Stash your mobile GPS out of site while you are shopping and don't put shortcuts called "home" on the device. If your car gets broken into, the thief can follow your GPS home and burglarize your house while you are still shopping. Remember you aren't being a "Grinch" by questioning or researching shopping sites or sales tactics, you are keeping your identity and money safe. * Fraud prevention tips provided by the Denver District Attorney's Office 7
December 12 Volunteer Holiday Party December 14 Volunteer Initial Training, Colorado National Guard Headqtrs, 6848 S. Revere Pkwy., Centennial, Colo. 80112. Directors Meeting following.
Click on pictures or links for websites STAFF AND CONTACT INFORMATION
Brent Hamilton - Program Support Technician 720-250-1176 firstname.lastname@example.org Chandra Hance – AST-Administrative Support Technician 720.250.1189 email@example.com
December 25 Merry Christmas, Everyone!
COESGR Business Office 12200 East Briarwood Avenue, Suite 160 Centennial, Co 80112
State ESGR Chair
Richard E. Young, RADM, USN (Ret)
State ESGR Vice Chair
Tom Mills, Brigadier General, CONG (Ret).
COLORADO ESGR DIRECTORS
Pete Callaway—Director 2014 Recipient
EMPLOYER OUTREACH AREA CHAIRS
Bev Skinner - Co-director Dave Pruett - Co-director EO Coordinator, Major CorporationsMark Saunders
Mark Hustedt Mary Miller
Would you like to see your employer’s name as a recipient of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award?
Contact Brent Hamilton, Program Support Technician, for Colorado ESGR to get additional information and assistance in nominating your employer for this prestigious award.
Guard and Reserve Members!
Bill Belz - Director Gary Brown - Dep. Dir.
Bruce Erek Rick White
Lynn Albi Paula Kauffman—Dep. Dir.
Douglas County Area
Jimmy Graham Bob Rotruck
Estes Park Area Chair
Contact info: 720-250-1176 or firstname.lastname@example.org Nomination period is November 1, 2013 to January 20, 2014. Don’t delay in nominating your employer.
National Guard Liaison
Fort Lyon/Tri County Leanne Wheeler Larimer/Weld County
Director - Vacant
Lou Brackett David Popham
Zach Jacobsen - Co-Director
National Site News and Information Join Facebook and Twitter Become a fan of Colorado ESGR
Dawanta Parks - Co-Director
Chase Dinkler - Deputy MVEE Coordinator - Jason Shireman
H2H offers valuable resources for Service members by way of hiring fairs, job training, career assessment and military skills translation.
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Colorado’s ESGR Electronic Newsletter is published not only for the information and benefit of the members of the Colorado ESGR but most importantly to our Guard and Reserve members and their employers. The contents of this newsletter highlight activities and events conducted by Colorado ESGR. 8 8