Six Growth Industries Experiencing the Biggest Hiring Increases

Six Growth Industries Experiencing the Biggest Hiring Increases

Six Growth Industries Experiencing the Biggest Hiring Increases

Contributed by Debbie Gregory

With unemployment at just 3.9 percent, the jobless rate has reached an 18-year low. This is great news for businesses, but the low unemployment rate makes finding a job more challenging for job seekers.

In order to increase the chances of finding employment, job seekers should focus on the industries that are experiencing growth and are adding opportunities.

The August LinkedIn Workforce Report looks at the latest national data on hiring, skills, and migration trends through July 2018.

The industries with the biggest year-over-year hiring increases in July were agriculture (26% higher); manufacturing (12.3% higher); and transportation & logistics (12% higher). These sectors are running strong today, but they are also among the most vulnerable to a trade war escalation.

Next comes corporate services9.7% higher; energy and mining (8.5%); and software and IT services 7.5%).

When it comes to growth based on sales, mining-support services came in at the top spot. Next came heavy and civil engineering construction, beverage manufacturing, personal services and direct sales.

Rounding out the top ten are building finishing contractors, real estate agents and brokers, durable goods merchant wholesalers, fright trucking and architectural, engineering and related services., named a Top 100 Employment Website, is a leader when it comes to connecting prime military and veteran candidates with outstanding career opportunities in both the government and civilian sectors. Be sure to check out the Virtual Job Fair, Live Job Fairs and the Job Board. There is also a multitude of career-related information for job seekers searching for employment after their active military service is complete, including job tips, resume tips, a skills translator, and much more.

And the best thing about using’s resources is that they are FREE to all users. Register as a job seeker to gain access to the thousands of jobs advertised on our site.


Military Spouse Professional Network – A Great Resource for Mil Spouses


By Debbie Gregory.

Supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Military Spouse Professional Network (MSPN) is a program under the Hiring Our Heroes umbrella.  The program aims to have big impact in major military areas nationwide by funneling momentum for military spouse employment into action.

Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zones will focus on cities that already have spouse programs, pulling them together to create a one-stop-shop for job opportunities.

“We’ve identified specific locations across the country that have a commitment to supporting our military families, and identified communities where we are able to leverage our Military Spouse Professional Networks,” said Elizabeth O’Brien, the Chamber foundation’s head of military spouse programs.

Military families consistently identify spouse employment as a key concern. Programs like the MSPN help military spouses overcome some of the challenges of maintaining a career while also moving around with their military service member.

Formerly called In Gear Career, MSPN is a collection of locally based, in-person networking groups across the world that look to advance military spouse employment opportunities in their individual areas.

The volunteer-led chapters connect military spouses with other career-oriented military spouses, mentors, and employers. The Network currently has more than 40 local chapters throughout the U.S. and Europe.

If you need to build or update your resume, check out another Chamber of Commerce resource, Career Spark,  at

If you’re job-seeking, or just trying to remain connected during a time when you’re not working, joining your local area Military Spouse Professional Network chapter can provide resources and the camaraderie of people in the same situation.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

When Federal Employees Need Legal Representation- Part 3

brown and goodkin

MSPB – Prohibited Personnel Practices –

The Merit Systems Protection Board protects federal employees from “Prohibited Personnel Practices.” This includes protecting employees from wrongful termination, nepotism, whistleblowing, misclassification, political activity, etc.. The MSPB also administers the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA which protects non-career uniformed service members by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of military service and ensures that federal agencies comply with their obligation to reemploy the service member after he or she has completed a period of military service.

Our firm represents employees who are fighting adverse actions at every stage of the MSPB process. We have a proven track record of helping employees keep their jobs, getting those jobs back after wrongful termination, and getting discipline rescinded.

EEOC – Discrimination/Harassment

The EEOC protects employees from discrimination and harassment based on the employee’s status as a member of a protected class. Protected classes include race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Employees are also protected from any action taken in retaliation for an employee filing an EEO complaint. This includes everything from a hostile work environment to non-selection for a position. For our clients who are veterans, this often includes discrimination based on disabilities acquired during active duty.

Contact with the Agency’s EEO office to begin the complaint process must occur within 45 days of the discriminatory event. Claims are initiated through each Agency’s internal EEO office. The Agency then connects the employee with a counselor to discuss the claim and try and reach an early resolution. If no resolution is reached, the employee then may file a formal complaint of discrimination. If the complaint meets various requirements, including timeliness, the Agency is then obligated to undertake an investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, or once 180 days have passed since the complaint was filed, the employee may then request that the Agency make a Final Agency Decision (FAD) or request a hearing with an EEOC administrative law judge. The employee may also elect to leave the administrative process and file a complaint in federal court.

Our firm Brown & Goodkin can assist with these complaints at any stage of the process.

These systems are designed to protect federal employees from bad things that happen to them while employed. Unfortunately, the administrative law procedures are complex and nuanced. While retaining an attorney is not required, we recommend that anyone who is looking to start one of these processes call to discuss their case with our office. We offer a free initial discussion with an attorney who will discuss your situation and see what system will best address your and your family’s needs.

Most Veterans Doing Slightly Better Financially Than Civilians


By Debbie Gregory.

While many veterans are a bit ahead of their civilian counterparts when it comes to money, they still struggle with credit card debt and timely mortgage payments.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Foundation’s recent study included more than 3,000 veterans and 23,000 non-veterans.

There are approximately 22 million military U.S. veterans in America, representing more than 8% of the U.S. population

The study found that veterans are 22% less likely to be unemployed than civilians and slightly more likely to be covered by health insurance.

But many veterans are underwater on their mortgages, and are more likely to carry a balance and to be charged a late payment fee on their credit cards.

These findings tend to vary within subsections of the veteran population: Air Force veterans are 19% less likely to report having difficulty covering their expenses than Army veterans; veterans who left the military 10 or more years ago are 43% less likely to report an unexpected drop in income than those who left the military in the last year; and veterans who retired from the military are 14% less likely to report difficulty covering their expenses than those who did not retire from the military.

There are resources for veterans who need them — the National Association of American Veterans and U.S. Soldiers Foundation help them access health benefits and finances, and USA Cares aims to help veterans prevent foreclosure/eviction and provides financial aid — some 30% of veterans in the survey said they’d gone over their credit limit, bounced or forged a check, been reported to a collection agency, or fallen victim to a money scam within the last year.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.


Calling All Retired Pilots


By Debbie Gregory.

Retired pilots- the Air Force wants you…again!

To that end, the service branch has initiated the Voluntary Retired Return to Active Duty Program (VRRAD) for pilots under the age of 60 in the rank of captain, major or lieutenant colonel, who retired within the last five years.

Pilots who held a job in the 11X career field are encouraged to apply before Dec. 31, 2018 to fill 25 flight staff positions for an active-duty tour of one year. Should those positions remain unfilled, the Air Force will extend the program deadline into 2019.

Applicants must be medically qualified for active duty with a flying class II physical; must have served in a rated staff position within the past 10 years; or have been qualified in an Air Force aircraft within five years of application.

The goal is to get experienced pilots to man staff jobs, or serve as instructor pilots to free up younger officers to get more training, and more hours in the air, which is one key to retention.

“We have a number of positions around the Air Force that require the expertise of someone who has been a military pilot, and [we] would like to be able to keep our pilots who are current in the aircraft in the aircraft and try to fill some of these vital flight slots,” said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.

Today’s Air Force requires 20,000 pilots to fly fighter jets, transport planes, helicopters and drones. This year, the service reported it was down 1,500 pilots. But the latest figures show the problem is getting worse, with a shortfall of 1,926 pilots.

Former airmen can apply for the program via the myPers website. Those without a myPers account  can do so at

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Veterans’ Preference Hiring Program


By Debbie Gregory.

Veterans’ Preference gives those who are disabled, served on active duty in the Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns preference over others in hiring for virtually all federal government jobs for veterans. While veterans’ preference does not guarantee jobs for military veterans, it does show our nation’s gratitude by giving them a leg up.

Veterans’ Preference was enacted at the end of the Civil War to aid disabled veterans. It was greatly expanded after World War I, allowing able-bodied, honorably discharged veterans, widows of deceased veterans and wives of severely disabled ones to take advantage of the assistance. Under the Obama administration, federal agencies established hiring goals that has resulted in one-third of new federal hires being veterans.

The program works on a point system, with 100 being the highest score. Typically, applicants receive points by either taking a test or through an evaluation of their education and experience. Disabled veterans got extra 10 points added to that score, while other former soldiers received 5 points. In the case of a tie, veterans are placed ahead of non-veterans. In addition, veterans with more serious service-related disabilities are placed at the top of the list, as long as they achieved a passing grade of 70 points.

Hiring officials cannot pass over veterans in the top category to hire more qualified non-veterans.

Younger veterans born since 1980 are about 15 times more likely than non-veterans of the same age to hold federal jobs.

Veterans’ Preference is a powerful hiring tool that can help veterans reach the veteran employers of the federal workforce.

Although it only directly benefited about one-tenth of veterans in the past, nearly one-third of recent veterans have federal jobs, many more than would have them in the absence of preferential hiring.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

GI Bill for On-the-job Training

otj training

By Debbie Gregory.

When separating from their military service, there are many newly-minted veterans who aren’t desirous of attending a traditional college or university to cash in on their veteran school benefits.  A better fitting veteran education option for them might be on-the-job (OJT) training or an apprenticeship program.

Both OJT and apprenticeship programs are available for veterans using their VA GI Bill education benefits, one of the most valuable veteran benefit.

These programs give veterans the opportunity to learn a trade or skill through training on the job participation rather than attending formal classroom instruction. The programs generally consist of entering into a training contract for a specific period with an employer or union. At the end of the training period, the veteran has earned job certification or journeyman status.

Usually, employers pay a reduced OJT/apprenticeship wage, which must be at least 50% of journeyman’s wage, with periodic wage increases, unless it’s a government program. By the last full month of training, the wage must be at least 85% of the wage for a fully trained employee.

In addition to the wages paid by the employer, veterans who are participating in an approved program can use their GI Bill benefit and receive a tax-free stipend equivalent to the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) of an E-5 with dependents.  However, the stipend is reduced 20% every six months as the Veteran’s wages regularly increase until the Veteran has attained journeyman status and pay.

If traditional college/university education, OTJ training or an apprenticeship doesn’t fit the bill, one other option is available: beneficiaries can use their educational assistance to pursue accredited independent study programs at career and technical schools that provide postsecondary level education and postsecondary vocational institutions. This change went into effect August 16, 2017.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families. and VAMBOA Hit Record Numbers on Social Media

mc and vamboa logos

Gregory Media CEO Debbie Gregory is proud to announce that and its sister organization VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association, achieved new records on social media, surpassing 1.2 million combined fans and followers.

This growth in social media is also having a positive impact and generating increased traffic on the websites., known as “the Go to Site” is one of the most comprehensive online directories of resources and information, with something for everyone. This site connects its audience with excellent jobs and employment resources, military/veteran friendly colleges, universities and vocational schools, benefits, news, resources and much more. There is also a comprehensive directory for each military service branch. is an outstanding online advertising venue to reach military, veterans and their loved ones.

The web site also works with a multitude of non-profits within the military and veteran communities, using it significant reach to help them “get out the word” on their causes and events, and facilitates win/win partnerships with organizations and clients.

“We are excited to see the continued growth of our social media reach, as well as website traffic,” said Gregory. “We know that we are delivering quality resources to our audience, including the daily articles on our Blog and our Newsletter.”

VAMBOA, a 501 (c) 6 non-profit trade association, has over 7,000 members nationwide. VAMBOA focuses on connecting members with corporations seeking a diverse network of suppliers. The association is supported through corporate sponsorships, and does not charge members any membership fees.

“Supporting the businesses of our military members and veterans and contributing to their successes provides us with the opportunity to express our pride and appreciation to and for the many who have served and sacrificed to make our country free,” said Gregory. “ It also enables corporations to work with companies run by America’s heroes.

Veterans Can Be Trained For High Tech Jobs with New Federal Program

tech training for vets

By Debbie Gregory.

While the post-9/11 GI Bill provides funding for veterans to pursue traditional education programs, technological advancements have resulted in high tech jobs for military, high tech jobs for veterans, military high tech jobs and veteran high tech jobs.

These are great jobs that veterans interested in technology careers can and should fill. But unfortunately, most short-term tech training programs aren’t eligible for funding from the G.I. Bill,

A bill sponsored by CA Rep. Ro Khanna will now change that. The bill will launch a five-year pilot program so that short-term tech training courses will be able to get G.I. Bill funding much easier.

“These types of skills might be more beneficial in getting a good job than two years of college or even four years of college,” said Khanna.

The bill will fund programs like NPower, a nonprofit that offers courses in the basics of computer hardware, software, and advanced network administration..

The program, which costs between $6,000 and $10,000 per student, is currently funded by foundations and grants and doesn’t charge the veteran participants. But G.I. Bill funding would enable NPower to serve a greater number of veterans.

Khanna’s bill also allows veterans to collect their BAH housing stipends to offset their living expenses while they’re taking a training course.

High tech training will give veterans a leg up when it comes to securing good jobs. In fact, many veterans already have security clearances necessary for tech companies that contract with the government.

Khanna was the lead Democratic sponsor on the tech funding pilot program which was spearheaded by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield as part of a larger G.I. Bill expansion.

If the pilot program goes well, it could become permanent.

“This is reorienting the G.I. Bill for the 21st century,” Khanna said.

In a deeply divided Congress, it’s nice to see our elected officials reach across the aisle to benefit our veterans.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.


New Type of Soldier Needs a Renewed Veteran Support Program


By Michael Kotick

We are in the longest standing war in our nation’s history where post-9/11 service members engage in multiple deployments in short succession, making the modern tour of duty as unique as the attention these individuals need upon their return civilian life. For many, this is the toughest fight.

Orange County has the fourth largest veteran population in California, and our state leads the nation in job initiatives for returning soldiers. A daunting 75% of our own Orange County veterans have said that they are having trouble adjusting to civilian life. One in four of our veterans lives below the poverty line, making up 20-percent of Orange County’s homeless population. The findings are highlighted in the first, in-depth assessment on the state of Orange County veterans. Released in 2015 by the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, most of the 1,200 veterans interviewed expressed genuine surprise at how hard it was to find meaningful work, despite being told they would be highly sought by civilian employers.

On the flip side of this equation, I gained extraordinary insight from an employer’s perspective when I facilitated an innovative agreement between the US Army PaYS Program and Hyundai Motor America. We matched qualified military technicians to auto-technician jobs after honorable discharge “[becoming] the key player between the Corporate Automotive culture [at Hyundai] and the Army’s regulations,” wrote Cherrie Warzocha, Sergeant First Class, US Army Recruiting Command – Ret. The program has now celebrated over a decade of success.

Unfortunately, opportunities such Hyundai’s are frequently overlooked. Colonel Arnold V. Strong (U.S. Army – Ret), an endorser of my campaign has given me further insight to the challenge. Strong served in the US Army for over thirty years and retired this June at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, CA, as a decorated veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Referring to himself as one of the ‘fortunate ones’ he successfully transitioned to a high profile job as the Director of Communications for one of Southern California’s fastest growing Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies. What is missing, said Strong, is not only the guidance and support in finding employment but also ‘transition’ in its own right.
Keeping in mind that 70 percent of returning soldiers arrive in Orange County without a job, it can tend to be the only point of focus by those who see veteran support as a critical national issue. However, in-line with USC’s Orange County Veterans Study, we know that proposed solutions need to be more comprehensive and cover the entire transition back to civilian life. My veteran action plan is comprised of two main areas of support and development:
(1) a Pre-Retirement Transition Program with an actionable employment plan and;
(2) the creation of a structured network for support services.

The move from a structured military way of life to a relatively unstructured civilian lifestyle can be overwhelming, confusing and require a significant adjustment for veterans who have spent years serving our country in a very different way than many of us live our day-to-day lives.

A six-month Pre-Retirement Transition Program would dedicate time to engage in active planning around housing, budgeting, location of key services, and job preparedness in anticipation of future discharge. This structured roadmap will help the servicemember prepare for a new civilian way of life, and identify a clear path to a job or career.
Dedicated focus on the jobs component of the pre-retirement transition program would ensure veterans are supported when sourcing and securing their new civilian careers. Veterans describe the current employment system as overwhelming. Despite the best of intentions by countless initiatives, “they [still] don’t know where to turn” and feel frustrated as they are referred from one employment website to another, with hours spent filling out application forms to little result. Some feel betrayed. Others — directionless, completely give up.
The jobs component of the pre-retirement program needs to include:
(a) identifying the desired field and its necessary qualifications;
(b) enrolling in education and/or retraining prior discharge;
(c) actively cultivating prospective employers, including those who are “friends of veterans”;
(d) granting leave time so job interviews can be done face-to-face (video or in-person);
(e) coaching veterans on how to articulate their military experiences to employers. Veterans need
to be able to advocate for themselves in thoughtful and persuasive ways; and,
(e) identifying “transition mentors” for transitioning service members to have a structure of
accountability, feedback, and a rewarding emotional connection as they were accustomed to
while in active service; Leadership, technical skills, discipline, a strong work ethic and teamwork crafted by the finest fighting force in the world, are exceptional attributes and are of extraordinary value to civilian employers.

John Newman, founder and executive director of the nonprofit ArmedForce2Workforce wrote, “When you consider the combination of value that vets bring, recent positive trends in the economy overall and the current level of goodwill toward those who served, the rates of veteran unemployment should be close to zero.” But they are not.

While there are numerous services available to veterans, there is glaring lack of coordination and communication. I faced this same challenge in a Fortune 500, where the mass introduction and investment in programs tied to strategic priorities create fragmentation and sometimes confusion. By creating a unified, structured information network, veterans, agencies, and employers will be able to:
(a) collaborate efforts across the community in the areas of jobs and health services;
(b) create and initiate best practices for housing, budgeting, and general transition information;
(c) share measurement and accountability, as more is learned from veterans studies across the country.

133,000 veterans now call Orange County home. If community organizations and leaders, service providers, nonprofits and policy makers create a comprehensive model — or as the USC study says, “a targeted intervention leading to collective impact” — then the 6-thousand veterans who relocate here by next year, and the thousands who will arrive in the years after that, will have more than a fighting chance — and the hero’s welcome they and their families deserve.

We need to thank our Veterans for the risks that they have taken for our country in defending our freedom by showing gratitude through actions – not just words. #StandUnited

About the Author

Michael Kotick developed his relationship with the veteran community well over a decade ago, pioneering an innovative collaboration between the automotive community and veteran mechanics, a program that is still in operation today. Now, a Democratic Congressional Candidate in Orange County (CA-48), home to the 4th largest veteran population in California, Michael is committed to making a positive impact. For more visit: