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Minnesota National Guard
Sgt. Josh Brummond: A Veterans Employment Success

Returning home from his second deployment in 2010, Sgt Josh Brummond knew clearing customs would be a major challenge Instead of slogging through the line and facing unexpected hurdles, however, Brummond sought out the customs agents that could get him and his unit through the line, and on their way home, more quickly

"On the way home, it was going out and talking to the customs people and seeing what they would need from us to get our gear back home, not just waiting for someone," Brummond said "Being proactive and finding the answer, finding the right people to get us out of there and relaying that information to other units to speed up the process"

Brummond's initiative and problem solving abilities were well received by his comrades that day, as he knew exactly what to do to clear one of the final steps in the deployment process The immediate impact of his actions was beneficial to all, but that display of desirable skills that many civilian employers seek wouldn't blossom until an interview with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs years later

With the customs and demobilization process completed, Brummond, then a nine-year veteran in the Minnesota National Guard, returned home to finally finish his secondary education Brummond graduated high school in 2000 and tried several colleges and majors before finally receiving his associate degree in business management from Alexandria Technical and Community College in 2012

"Deployments threw a wrench in that one," Brummond said about the time it took him to complete his degree

Brummond was responsible for millions of dollars in equipment as unit supply specialist during two deployments to Iraq and the completion of his long sought-after degree With the easy part over he was ready to face the reality of finding a path to professional success

"I found employment resources by looking at the Minnesota National Guard's website, which referred me to the WorkForce Center and a DEED rep to work on my resume," Brummond said "I thought I had everything I needed in my resume, but my rep only said, 'that's a good start'"

Brummond's "rep," Ladeen Schillinger, veteran employment representative for the Department of Employment and Economic Development's Alexandria WorkForce Center, sat down with Brummond and helped translate the military skills that got his unit through customs and kept himself accountable for millions of dollars in equipment into a language understood and appreciated by civilian employers

"She asked questions, and she clarified things employers might not understand I gave her a baseline, and from there I expanded my resume and got better," Brummond said

With Schillinger's help Brummond was able to translate his military skills, find the right job and prepare him for the interview process Together the two found and targeted the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs' Veterans Assistance Coordinator position in Alexandria and were able to find the keywords that were needed on his resume to put him ahead of other candidates

"On Oct 17 I was brought on with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs," Brummond said "I found the job, it was something I wanted having been a student and knowing the hardship that applying for benefits can be on a student Now I help students with their education benefits and with any other VA needs

"Just don't give up, there is something out there"

Brummond continues to serve with the Minnesota National Guard as a cannon crewmember with B Battery, 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery (FA) and currently lives in Alexandria Brummond enlisted in 2000 with C Battery, 1-151 FA and was deployed with the unit in Iraq from 2004-05 and 2009-10 He and his wife, Karla, are expecting their first child in December

Story by Sgt Patrick Loch
Beyond The Yellow Ribbon
Nov 13, 2012
More veterans employment info at: PositivelyMinnesota.com/Veterans

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