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Minnesota National Guard
Local leaders: Veterans skills transfer to civilian work force

Posted: Jun 27, 2012, 9:15 am
By Matthew Stolle
The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

It stands as a stark contradiction: We sing the praises of veterans and service members for their sacrifices, yet employ them in fewer numbers than regular folks

On Tuesday, a group of small business leaders, personnel directors, career counselors and others gathered at Mayo High School to discuss ways to narrow that gap

"The struggles that we do have with veterans is, how do we translate those skills and an understanding of those skills" into the job market, Dr Timothy Lineberry, a psychiatry professor for Mayo Clinic, told an estimated 150 people in the school's auditorium

The event, "Veteran Employment in Minnesota," was hosted by the Minnesota Department of Veterans, Minnesota National Guard and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and included an address by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie

It's not that veterans don't have marketable skills, experts say, but sometimes even vets are slow to recognize how their experiences and training have value outside a military context

Annette Kuyper, director of military outreach for the Minnesota National Guard, related how her son — a soldier who had seen combat in Iraq — was asked in a job interview to describe a crisis situation he had been through Instead of talking about the times his convoy had come under attack in Iraq, he described a "crisis" he went through with a girlfriend in high school

"I didn't think about it That was just my job," Kuyper recalled her son saying when asked why he didn't cite his military experiences

The fact is, service members sometimes don't see a connection between their military experiences and the skills employers seek

In May, the US unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the US Armed Forces at any time since September 2001 stood at 127 percent, up from 121 percnet a year earlier Among these veterans, those who were male and ages 18 to 24 had a 29 percent jobless rate last year

The problem is likely to get worse as thousands of soldiers return from the war in Afghanistan this year and next

Veterans face challenges in finding work that civilians don't Service members often need to time to "decompress" or work through emotional traumas after they return from combat That takes time and patience on the part of employers

And unlike a generation ago, the work world has become more technical Employers are demanding employees with computer and technical skills

"A soldier, being mustered out 30 years ago, could blend right into what is going on," said Randy Johnson, executive director of Workforce Development, Inc "Our work world has gotten much more tech savvy, but so has the military"

On the other hand, veterans bring to the table qualities that should be in high demand by employers One skill prized by employers "across the board," Johnson said, is the ability to start and finish a job — a core military function

"People who can be left alone and be relied on to get the job done — that's first and foremost," Johnson said

But more barriers could be brought down Experts say veterans are more inclined to go to college and thus enhance their appeal to employers if they are given credit for "prior learning" That allows them to avoid the expense and wasted time of taking classes they don't need

"They will take more credits if there is a couple of credits granted up front," Johnson said
Minnesota's higher education system has a "pretty good process" of giving credit for such experiences, but in some areas, there is little transfer, said Tony Tengwall, a coordinator of veterans benefits for Rochester Community and Technical College One area where there is a big disconnect is in the medical field "because of the certifications," he said

"You want to cut through everything you've already done and go to where you're ready to start," Tengwall said
Article source
http://www.postbulletin.com/news/stories/display.php?id=1500939



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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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