The Transportation Industry Has Jobs for Military Veterans

transport

By Debbie Gregory.

A career field that military veterans should keep their eyes on is the fast growing transportation industry. According to a recent report done jointly by the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Education, and Labor, there are a multitude of skilled and semi-skilled jobs available in the transportation sector.

Transportation employment includes jobs in industries which transport passengers and cargo via plane, rail, bus, boat, transit system, and other modes of private and public transportation, warehousing and storage for goods, and scenic and sightseeing transportation.

The report ranked the top 10 jobs, based on the projected growth. Coming in at No. 1 is heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. The job requires a commercial driver’s license, and most heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers attend professional truck driving school. The job can require a lot of traveling.

In second place is school bus drivers and special client bus drivers. This job entails transporting students or clients such as the elderly or persons with disabilities.

In the number 3 position are laborers and freight, stock and material movers. These are physically demanding jobs that may require moving materials, feeding materials to machines, cleaning vehicles, etc.

Coming in at number 4 are transit and inner-city bus drivers. These drivers can work regular bus routes, chartered trips or sightseeing tours, and require a commercial driver’s license.

Number 5 are taxi drivers and chauffeurs, although with the advent of driving services such as Uber and Lyft, it is getting harder for taxi drivers to be competitive. Limousines drivers have a slight advantage.

At number 6, highway maintenance workers are responsible for maintaining highways, roads, runways, etc. The job does carry some risk, and the possibility of a lot of night work.

Flight attendants are in the number 7 spot. The upside is the ability to travel. The down side is  the schedule, which could have flight attendants away from home for days at a time.

Construction laborers come in at number 8, and this physically demanding job can also be dangerous, as you work at great heights and in all weather conditions.

Number 9 are bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists. These are the people who inspect, repair, and overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engine. Most applicants have completed training programs.

Rounding out the top ten are dispatchers, who may work for the police department, fire department or ambulance company.

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.

Guidelines for Obtaining a Security Clearance

security clearance

By Debbie Gregory.

A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information or to restricted areas.

A security clearance alone does not grant an individual access to specific classified materials. Rather, a security clearance means that an individual is eligible for access. In order to gain access to specific classified materials, an individual should also have a demonstrated “need to know” the classified information for his or her position and policy area responsibilities.

There are three levels of security clearances: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret, which correspond to the levels of sensitivity of the information that a cleared individual will be eligible to access.

The process to obtain a security clearance must be initiated by a sponsoring federal agency and is usually paid for by the requesting agency.

The determination of whether the granting or continuing of eligibility for a security clearance is based upon careful consideration of 13 guidelines:

(1) allegiance to the United States; any act , association or sympathy that aims to overthrow the Government of the United States or alter the form of government by unconstitutional means.

(2) foreign influence; potential for foreign influence that could result in the compromise of classified information.

(3) foreign preference; any indication of a preference for a foreign country over the United States.

(4) sexual behavior that involves any criminal offense.

(5) personal conduct; refusing cooperation for any required testing, questioning or paperwork.

(6) financial considerations; financially overextended to be at risk of having to engage in illegal acts to generate funds.

(7) alcohol consumption; in excess, which could lead to bad judgement.

(8) drug involvement; could lead to impaired social or occupational functioning.

(9) emotional, mental, and personality disorders;

(10) criminal conduct; creates doubt about a person’s judgment, reliability and trustworthiness.

(11) security violations; raise doubts about an individual’s trustworthiness, willingness, and ability to safeguard classified information.

(12) outside activities; especially those relating to foreign interests

and

(13) misuse of information technology systems; compromised ability to properly protect classified systems, networks, and information.

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.

Decisiveness, Tenacity & Initiative Make Veterans the Best Employees

bootcamp

By Debbie Gregory.

When it comes to the characteristics that make employees the most valuable, the list is pretty long. But there are a few extra boxes that are ticked by military veterans that help make them among the most valued employees.

Decisiveness

Decisiveness is defined as being characterized by firmness and decision. Those who serve seldom have the luxury of long analysis when it comes to making a decision regarding a specific situation. They are trained to gather intel and understand it thoroughly. From the strength of a decision comes the ability to act. Being decisive is simply the most rational way to take on any problem. You observe the information you have available and then you decide what would be the most successful course of action. If you can’t get more data, decisive people simply make a decision based on the facts available.

Tenacity

Veterans know all about persistence and perseverance. Regardless of their branch of service, these former military members went through rigorous and demanding basic training (boot camp) in preparation for military service.

Initiative

Initiative is defined as an individual’s action that begins a process, often done without direct managerial influence. Anyone who has served  in the military learns to follow orders. But through their training, they also learn that they may be faced with situations that requires them to take action in the absence of orders. If something needs to be done, they don’t have to wait to be told.

So if you are an employer and you’re thinking of hiring veterans, keep in mind that there is value in these potential employees that goes beyond the specialized skills they learned in the military. The very nature of being in the military has given them attributes unlike those that people can gain through any other type of employment.

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 Veterans for Employment Study

survey says

By Debbie Gregory.

In the past several years, quite a bit of effort has gone into helping veterans successfully transition from service to civilian employment. Hiring commitments from the public sector, the private sector and nonprofits have resulted in improved training and support and have helped reduce the veteran unemployment rate.

Despite this success, a great deal remains unknown about veterans employment. Questions remain, such as: what does a veteran career path look like after the first post-service job? How does veteran retention compare to that of civilians? How do employers view veterans in the workforce? Can we estimate the contributions of veterans to the economy, to make a case for hiring veterans?

It was recently announced that the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has been commissioned to conduct a study and produce a report on veteran employment, retention and economic performance.

CNAS needs volunteers to take part in this study.  Participants will be asked to take three anonymous, online surveys. Contributors will help illuminate how veterans and firms perceive employment and retention issues. If you would like to volunteer for this study, click on the link that pertains to you. Your participation is needed if you are:

  • A Veteran (including anyone who has served in the military, including those who may fall into the other groups)
  • In Human resources (including anyone who works primarily on recruiting, talent acquisition, human resources or related issues)
  • A Business manager/business leader (including anyone who manages personnel, business functions or business units, from first-line supervisors to executives)

Participants may skip questions they do not want to answer. Results from this study will be published in November 2016. Further information and the survey can be found on the CNAS website.

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.

What Are The Top 10 Paying Jobs?

top

By Debbie Gregory.

Would it surprise you to learn that attorneys are only in 10th place when it comes to the highest paying jobs in the U.S.?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on median annual salaries, the top paying jobs are in the medical field.

After attorneys come the friendly skies. In 9th place, you will find airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers, and 8th place is claimed by air traffic controllers.

While most pilots fly commercially transporting passengers and cargo, 34 percent of pilots work in other areas, including crop dusting, seed distribution, testing aircraft, firefighting and rescuing and evacuating injured persons. Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of air traffic to make certain that planes stay a safe distance apart. Their immediate concern is safety, but controllers also must direct planes efficiently to minimize delays. Some regulate airport traffic through designated airspaces; others regulate airport arrivals and departures.

Next come those on the information super-highway, in 7th place, computer and information systems managers, who implement, plan, coordinate, and direct research on the computer-related activities of their companies.

Most people are familiar with the already mentioned careers, but coming in at number six is one I wasn’t familiar with…natural sciences manager. Those in this position direct research and development projects and oversee the work of life and physical scientists, including agricultural scientists, chemists, biologists, geologists, medical scientists, and physicists.

In 5th place are podiatrists, who work from under the knee to the tip of the toes. Podiatrists treat corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, heel spurs, and arch problems; ankle and foot injuries, deformities, and infections; and foot complaints associated with diabetes and other diseases.

Engineering managers come in fourth, and work with engineers who design and develop machinery, products, systems, and processes.

The chief executive officer (CEO) is the top executive of a company. It’s where the buck stops.  Of course, the CEO of a major corporation probably makes more than the CEO of a small business, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CEOs are in third place.

While you may be surprised to learn that physicians are not in the number one position, they are as close as they can be, coming in at number two. It’s a long road to get there, requiring four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school, and three to eight years of internship and residency.

So who is in first? The cousin-profession to physicians: dentists and oral surgeons.

We all know what dentists do, but may not be as familiar with oral surgeons. They’re the ones who operate on the mouth, jaws, teeth, gums, neck, and head.

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 Job Hunting, Work Smarter, not Harder

job hunt

By Debbie Gregory.

Whether you are transitioning out of the military and looking for veteran friendly jobs, graduating from school, or simply looking for a new job, there a few steps that you can take that will help you work smarter, not harder.

First of all, you need to do your homework on any prospective employers. One of the best places to begin is on social media. Reach out and ask current and past employees about their experiences with the company. And don’t forget that prospective employers may be doing the same, so be careful what you post on your personal social media pages.

If you have been working with a recruiter, you can ask questions. But exercise caution so that you don’t jeopardize the interview if you say the wrong thing or make them feel like you aren’t serious about the job.

If you’re at the interview stage, you will learn a lot by actually going to the job interview. Remember as much as they are interviewing you, you are also interviewing them to see if they are a good fit for you. Ask the questions you have to ask to know whether it’s where you really want to work. Asking good questions also shows that you are interested in any veteran friendly jobs they have, and that you’re prepared. The answers to those questions should also help you decide whether or not you want to work for the employer.

Try not to ask questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. You want more information, and people will usually provide that if you ask “open-ended” questions

Important questions to ask include: What can you tell me about this job that isn’t in the description? What’s the day-to-day of the job actually like? What will I be doing, and how many hours are in a typical work week? What is the key to success in this job? Who will I be interacting with and in what capacity? How are performance reviews conducted, and how often? What is the turnover rate?

It’s best not to ask a question that could be answered by a quick visit to the employer’s website or a Google search.

Don’t forget to ask your interviewer questions about themselves, such as how long have you worked here, what do you enjoy most about working here, and to what they attribute their success at the company to.

Finally, make sure you know the final questions to ask: What happens next in your process? When will you be back in touch with me, and how (email, phone call?) When do you expect to make a decision? When do you anticipate the person in this job will start work? Who should I stay in touch with (get name, job title, and contact information)?

Rand Study Reveals Interesting Findings Re: Veteran Unemployment

rand study

By Debbie Gregory.

According to a 15 year RAND study, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are not having as much of a difficult time finding employment as some sources would have the public believe.

There are still many hurdles to overcome, with the study revealing that veterans aged 18 to 24 who have recently separated have struggled to find jobs compared to the same demographic in the civilian population. With that said, part of that statistical information may be due to the fact that this age group is opting to use their education benefits and attend school rather than working full time jobs.

Other post-9/11 veterans do not have a much higher unemployment rate than their civilian counterparts. While the media relies on data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics for its reporting, RAND looked at the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, where the sample size is much larger. Utilizing these numbers, the RAND study shows that post-9/11 veteran unemployment is not so different when compared to demographically similar non-veterans.

Also factoring in to the unemployment statistics is the number of veterans who are receiving unemployment benefits. With that said, the RAND study found that the majority of veterans receiving unemployment benefits were reservists returning from mobilization in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The RAND study found that tax credits for hiring veterans, such as the Vow to Hire Heroes Act and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, have had a positive effect on veteran hiring.

So have programs designed to improve veterans’ transition and employment opportunities, such as the 100,000 Jobs Mission, which has exceeded expectations.

Whether you are an employer looking to reach the veteran community with your job openings, an institution of higher learning, or a member of the military, a veteran or a supporter, we hope you will reach out to MilitaryConnection.com.  We are known as “the Go To Site” and have of the most comprehensive online directories of resources and information for our audience.

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.

Employer Survey Reveals Surprising Attitude Towards Vets

survey

By Debbie Gregory.

While American employers see veterans as “heroes,” they don’t necessarily see them as “assets”, according to a recent survey.

The survey, done by the Edelman marketing firm, found that the designation of “hero” can create an emotional distance between veterans and civilians.  This in turn can make it difficult for civilians to connect with veterans and view them as potential colleagues.

The online survey found that 84% of employers and 75% of civilians see veterans as heroes. But only 26% of employers and 22% of civilians think veterans are “strategic assets” in their communities.

The survey also found that employers most commonly think about mental health problems when they think about veterans.

While the jobless rate for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan has decreased in recent years, there are concerns about the quality of employment.

Survey results were released as part of a joint effort by Edelman, Give an Hour, a non-profit organization that provides counseling to troops and veterans, and the George W. Bush Institute.

“The issue is about long-term job fit, advancement, retention. Is the veteran given the same look as others?” said  Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour.

The goal was to examine the “well-being” of veterans and what was described as an ongoing schism between civilians and those who serve in the military, according to Van Dahlen.

Van Dahlen said the contrasting view that veterans are heroes, but not assets, is a product of an American culture in need of heroes, but lacking understanding of its military. “These folks come home from war, they’ve seen and done things that would make many of us feel uneasy, uncomfortable, intimidated. And so by seeing them in this way, as heroes, it does keep us distant from them.”

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.

Provision Scales Back Federal Job Preferences for Veterans

Veterans McCainBy Debbie Gregory.

Congress has stepped into a sensitive issue that’s been quietly roiling the hiring system for federal jobs: the Obama administration’s push to give preference to veterans.

While former service members would still go to the head of the hiring line, a little-noticed provision of the new defense bill recently passed by the Senate would eliminate the preference veterans get once they are in the government and apply for another federal job.

Top defense officials pressed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for the change in order to ensure that qualified non-veterans are considered equally with veterans for specialized, hard-to-fill positions.

The provision would affect thousands of veterans, many of whom get a foot in the door with an entry-level position and then seek jobs at other agencies.

The provision has been fiercely opposed by leading service organizations, which had no idea until the legislation was on the floor that the Senate was moving to chip away at the government’s most visible effort to reward military service.

“Is Congress now starting to dial back the goodwill the country’s shown toward veterans’ employment?” asked Lauren Augustine, senior legislative associate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, an advocacy group. “Are we now going to set a bad example to the private sector by limiting veterans preference in government?”

In 2009, Obama boosted the extra hiring credits given to veterans to give them a greater edge in getting federal jobs.

But the down-side to the policy has been that qualified non-veterans are getting shut out of federal jobs in deference to those who served, but may not be as qualified.

In 2014, almost half of those hired in full-time, permanent federal jobs were veterans. The figures for 2015 have not yet been released.

A spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee said the committee has not taken a position on the issue.

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said last week that he does not think the Senate provision hurts veterans’ preference but instead “balances the goals of rewarding those who are eligible for a federal hiring advantage with the needs of the federal government and notably the Department of Defense to attract and hire the best talent for a variety of important national security jobs.”

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 Seeking Jobs for Veterans or Military Spouses, What Should You Wear to the Interview?

dressforsuccess

By Debbie Gregory.

When looking for jobs for veterans or military spouses, there is one question that always comes up: what do I wear to the interview?

A good rule of thumb is wearing a suit or an outfit that is a higher level than the job that you’re applying for. By dressing a notch or two above what’s standard apparel for the position you’re interviewing for, you’re demonstrating that you care about getting the job.

Additionally, dressing on the conservative side is always the safest bet. The last thing you want to do is stand out for something other than your personality and qualifications.

While a suit isn’t always required, it’s usually alright to inquire about the dress code when you set up the interview.

Even if the dress is casual, make sure your footwear is not. Closed toed, closed back shoes are the best choice for both men and women.

If you’re on a budget, make sure to take a second look at what is already hanging in your closet. While you may think what you have is outdated, often times your look  can be updated by accessorizing with a nice handbag, earrings or necklace for the ladies, and a nice briefcase, cuff links or tie for the men.

If you must purchase something to wear, stick to basic colors such as blue and gray so that your pieces will be timeless. Although black and brown can be worn, they are not as good of a choice.

Don’t rule out consignment shops that specialize in higher end clothing, as well as outlet stores.

The most important take away is make sure that whatever you buy fits properly. You don’t want to look unprofessional is a suit that hangs on you, and you don’t want to distract your interviewer with buttons that are pulling because the shirt or blouse is too tight.

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.