| Ask Matt: I'm back from military duty and need help finding a job
Updated: May 15, 2012 - 9:52 AM
Dear Matt: I'm returning from active military duty and need a job! What tips do you have for me? What has changed in the few years I have been out of the job market?
Matt says: Nearly 3,000 Minnesota National Guard soldiers returned in late April after serving in Afghanistan and Kuwait during the last year Many are now seeking employment
Technology and social media are two of the biggest changes in the way job seekers look for work and employers search for talent, says Jennifer Brigham, CEO of Brigham Group Staffing (brigahmgroupcom), a Twin Cities-based staffing firm Must-haves for any job seeker:
• An electronic version of your résumé The electronic version can be uploaded to online job boards, attached to a company's web-based application, or e-mailed
• A professional profile on LinkedIn and on all the big job boards, Star Tribune Jobs and Hero 2 Hired (h2hjobs) -- a web site focused on connecting military-trained talent with jobs
• Use support organizations such as the state's Workforce Centers (positivelyminnesotacom), job clubs that meet at local churches, and Yellow Ribbon organizations (beyondtheyellowribbonorg)
One thing hasn't changed -- networking is key Just ask veteran Tim Connelly, now a Twin Cities-based lawyer (timconnellylawcom) "The single most important thing for returning service members is to understand the power of networking -- even in a simple job search," said Connelly "Go to meetings, conferences, social events and tell your story, especially events with a veteran-friendly focus You will be well received, and knowledgeable employers will recognize the value of the organizational and leadership skills you have accumulated in the service of your country"
Don't overlook the possibility of starting your own business, or starting one with your fellow service members There are state and federal government programs designed to ensure that veteran-owned businesses get a fair share of government contracting opportunities Many large government contractors seek out veteran-owned businesses for the quality work they do and to help fulfill their government contract responsibilities to promote small businesses
"Plan your search, execute the plan, revise the plan and execute again," said Connelly "Learn something about the market (and yourself) with every encounter, interview and rejection until something good turns up -- and it will turn up, if you stick with it"
Officers convene for 112th Meeting of the National Guard Association of Minnesota
Posted: 2017-04-28 12:38 PM
MANKATO, Minn. - Commissioned leaders of the Minnesota National Guard convened for the 112th General Conference of the National Guard Association of Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center and Hilton Garden Inn, Mankato, on April 22, 2017.
The annual gathering of association members - who serve as advocates for the needs of Soldiers, Airmen and their families - includes a business meeting, commanders march, formal dining event and transfer of responsibility to the chapter's new president.
The day's event began with a business meeting, which focused on the association's mission of educating and informing legislators on the issues facing the current and future role of the National Guard in serving Minnesota communities. The strategic planning meeting was attended by Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, his staff and unit commanders.
Camp Ripley earns top environmental award
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM
Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."