Finding work with military-like precision
And their home state's intensive efforts to help them find jobs seems to be paying off, one soldier at a time.
Jim Goss is executive director of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. When the 197th Fires Brigade returned, he said, ';they were looking at close to 25 percent unemployment.';
As of February, Goss said, ';that number is down to 15 percent.';
He estimated there are about 125 brigade members looking for jobs; some soldiers are going to school or taking some time off instead.
Goss coordinates with other agencies to plan employment workshops and job-search training for returning veterans. And ESGR resurrected a previous program, ';Mission One,'; assigning a volunteer to each component of the brigade.
';A good fit''
David Fink of Manchester was laid off from his job as a quality-control engineer just before he deployed to Kuwait, so he came home unemployed.
He still had his National Guard duty once a month and a part-time position teaching welding technology at Manchester Community College. And he started working with head hunters, sending out resumes and networking.
In the end, it was a personal connection that paid off, Fink said; his father ran into someone who was starting a laser welding department at his company, New England Small Tube Corp. in Litchfield.
Fink landed the job, which has allowed him to return to his real love, welding. ';This was just such a good fit,'; he said.
Denise Roy-Innarelli, an assistant director at New Hampshire Employment Security, said there's a 24-hour ';veteran hold'; on jobs posted with the state agency so that only those registered as veterans can see them first.
And veterans are ';flagged'; in the system so employers who want to hire vets can easily find them, she said.
There's also a new U.S. Department of Defense program, Hero2Hired (h2h.jobs), where employers can post vacancies