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Minnesota National Guard
Capt. Jason Anderson: A Veterans Employment Success

Jason J Anderson, a captain in the Minnesota National Guard and the subject of this month's Veteran Employment Success Story, does more than just preach his best practices for finding employment - he lives them every day, even while running the most mundane of errands

Cpt Andersonjpg How to Hire a Veteran and How to Get Hiredpdf

Once, while Anderson was out shopping for a blender, a conversation with another customer at a common bed and bath products store turned into a prime networking opportunity After discussing the merits of different blenders, the spontaneous encounter transitioned to employment, and Anderson was ready to hand his contact information over to the other customer, whose husband was a well-connected businessman

"Always leave the house dressed professionally, and carry your business cards," Anderson said "I almost landed a job while buying a blender!"

Those two tips were just two of many Anderson used as part of a complete employment strategy after he was laid off from Lockheed Martin In addition to his list of best practices, Anderson reached out and built a working relationship with a Department of Employment and Economic Development Veterans Employment Representative Both efforts were essential in him landing a project management position with US Bank in August

"I wouldn't have received the job offer if not for the DEED representative," Anderson said "Now I work in the IT [Information Technology] office and support the team Eventually I'll be working my own projects, but this is a good way to get in and learn how US Bank operates"

Anderson's path to employment with US Bank began when he attended the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs' Job Fair at the Earle Brown Heritage Center on July 11 He arrived prepared, and after a bit of networking and utilizing one of his employment strategies - in this case being prepared with a 30-second elevator speech that outlined who he was and what he was looking to do professionally - Anderson was introduced to a US Bank employment representative working a booth at the Job Fair

After handing the US Bank representative his resume - which Anderson paid to have professionally done, another tip he swears made his resume stand out - he was contacted by Human Resources and was interviewed less than a week later By conducting mock interviews with his Family Readiness Group leader, Jeanne Lyons, Anderson was well prepared and made enough of an impression to be asked for the all-important second interview, which ultimately led to his hire

Though Anderson wasn't part of the large 1st Brigade Combat Team's deployment to Kuwait last year, he did directly support the mobilization while assisting in the pre- and post-deployment efforts as part of the brigade's rear-detachment He utilized the 3-Step Employment Process, which was created in preparation of the 1st BCT's return, and was able to get his career back on track

Prior to the 1st BCT returning home in May, Minnesota Adjutant General Maj Gen Richard C Nash led an initiative to send an Employment Resource Team to Kuwait to help job-seeking service members with resume writing, career planning and resources to help the 526 unemployed members of the 1st BCT find work when they returned home To date, 454 of those service members have found employment

Anderson, with 13 years of total service in the Army, is the A Co, 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division company commander When he was an active duty, enlisted Soldier, Anderson deployed to Bosnia in 1997 After a brief time out of the service, he enlisted with the Minnesota National Guard and almost immediately went to Officer Candidates School Anderson was deployed to Iraq from 2005-07, and completed a liberal arts degree while there Anderson's education continues today, as he is working on his MBA from the University of St Thomas

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Woman's Veterans Initiative Shows Major Muscle with Habitat for Humanity Build

Posted: 2015-11-25  09:37 AM
WVI H4H ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Women Veterans Initiative (WVI), a group orientated toward networking Minnesota women military members and veterans brought 16 service(wo)men from all services, ages and backgrounds together, November 12, to assist in a Habitat for Humanity build. Eleven of the 16 women are current or former Minnesota National Guardsmen.

"We started celebrating Veterans Day this way in 2008 with Habitat for Humanity and enjoy coming back each year to build," said Trista Matascastillo, program officer for Veterans Voices and chairman for the WVI. "We learn new skills, build our own confidence and make new friends. There are 27,000-plus women vets in Minnesota and so often we hear that women veterans feel isolated and alone and having events like this is just another way to bring us out and together."

The group started in the morning with a brief on the tasks for the day and quickly got to work, going above and beyond by organizing the work-site and making sure there was a high attention to detail.

Empowering Girls and Influencing the Next Generation

Posted: 2015-11-17  10:51 AM
Girls Rising ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Air National Guard and the Soroptimist International of the Twin Cities partnered together to present the documentary film 'Girl Rising' at the 133rd Airlift Wing on Saturday, Nov 7 2015.

The event featured a C-130 tour for any of the attendees, which included girls as young as nine. Following the tour, the documentary film 'Girl Rising' was featured and ended with a panel discussion. Topics included overcoming obstacles, mentors and people who have inspired them along the way.

"I think events like this are essential in opening our doors to the community and raising awareness about important issues not only local, but around the world - often these are places many of our wing members have deployed to," said Master Sgt. Theresa Mensinger, Diversity and Inclusion Senior Non-commissioned officer.

Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing has new leader

Posted: 2015-11-16  07:47 AM
148FW CoC Clint Austin DULUTH, Minn. - With the handing-off of the 148th Fighter Wing's flag on Saturday, Col. Jon Safstrom has become the new wing commander.

The Duluth native assumed the leadership role from Col. Frank Stokes, who is leaving Duluth after leading the 148th for more than six years to become chief of current operations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.

During Saturday's Change of Command Ceremony at the Minnesota Air National Guard base in Duluth, Stokes passed the flag of the 148th "Bulldogs" to Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, who then passed the flag to Safstrom, symbolizing the accepting of the command.

133AW and Best Buy Corporate join together to support Operation Gratitude

Posted: 2015-11-12  12:51 PM
Operation Gratitude BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and employees from Best Buy Corporate joined forces to support Operation Gratitude at the Best Buy corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 150,000 individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.

On Friday, more than 30 members from the 133rd Airlift Wing worked side-by-side with employees of Best Buy Corporate to pack bags filled with snacks, small electronics and other items to be shipped to deployed military members overseas. The efforts paid off and the group packed nearly 1,800 bags in under an hour.

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