Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Big news from major trade publication - Industrial Machinery Digest promotes American Jobs for America's Heroes National Guard and veteran hiring campaign:
http://bit.ly/15ZvA4p
 
 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Phillips 66, Lead National Corporate Sponsor of Our Campagin, Ranked as #1 Socially Responsible Employer by Students

Over the weekend, some big news came out about Phillips 66, the lead national corporate sponsor of the American Jobs for America's Heroes campaign.

In a survey of more than 20,800 business students at 320 colleges nationwide, Phillips 66 was ranked as the employer with the strongest degree of social responsibility.

The survey, conducted by research and advisory firm Universum, determined which American companies or organizations students deemed most ideal to work for and why.  The survey found that corporate social responsibility was an important determinant for students.

This is great news for Phillips 66 and we at the American Jobs for America's Heroes campaign are not surprised to hear it.  After all, it is through the company's support that our campaign is able to help the 60,000+ unemployed members of the National Guard.  

In the United States today, about 20% of National Guard members are unemployed.  In one state, National Guard unemployment has soared to about 40%.

Phillips 66 thinks those numbers are unacceptable.  They believe that the brave men and women who have courageously and selflessly fought for our country should be able to find civilian work upon their return.  So they have taken action by supporting our campaign, providing resources to build an alliance that offers a myriad of free services to both employers and applicants.

Watch our video which features representatives from Phillips 66 talking about their dedication to helping our returning heroes find jobs.

Congratulations to Phillips 66 on a well deserved recognition!

Learn more about our campaign and how you can join Phillips 66 in committing to those who have shown unwavering commitment to our nation by visiting the Center for America website.



Friday, August 9, 2013

New Campaign Flyer Shows Diverse Skills of Guard Members

A new flyer for our campaign to connect members of the US National Guard with American employers makes the case that Guard members are qualified for just about any job out there.

These are real photos of National Guard members during drills, events and natural disaster situations.

Check them out and see the skills they demonstrate.  Then sign up to post jobs for unemployed Guard members on the Center for America website.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Legislators Show Bipartisan Support for American Heroes

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
In a Congress deeply divided on partisan lines, one issue has brought both sides together this past week: the importance of our country’s National Guard members and veterans.

Last week, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) introduced the Veterans and Service Members Employment Rights and Housing Act of 2013 in the Senate and the House, S. 1281 and H.R. 2654.

The legislation intends to end discrimination against former military service members when they apply for employment or housing, citing a study by the Center for a New American Security that reported over 50 percent of employers had a “negative stereotype” of military members and veterans.

In a show of bipartisan support, Congressman Jim Renacci (R-OH) joined Congressman Kilmer as a cosponsor of the bill, declaring that “Under no circumstances should the brave men and women of our armed forces face job or housing discrimination based on the service they provided our country.”

While our legislators attempt to pass comprehensive federal law to improve the lives of veterans, the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign operates at the business level to provide employment opportunities for National Guard members and veterans around the country.

Our country’s heroes deserve every possible opportunity for prosperity, and one way to provide that is to connect unemployed National Guard members, veterans, and spouses with American employers. If you would like to help our campaign or simply learn more, please visit the American Jobs for American Heroes website today or follow us on Twitter @USJobs4USHeroes.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Senator Joe Donnelly Offers Legislation to Help National Guard Veterans

Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
American National Guard members who haven’t served overseas are currently at a disadvantage to other veterans when they apply for federal jobs.
Thankfully, Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is sponsoring new legislation that will recognize the service of National Guard members who haven’t served overseas and ensure they have every possible opportunity for employment.
Donnelly’s proposed bill would create an innovative, tiered system for federal hiring that prioritizes experience and time served for National Guard members. The legislation would improve the chances of employment for 159,000 National Guard soldiers and 73,000 Air National Guard Airmen.
Although these Guard members don’t serve overseas, they are crucial to the safety and livelihood of citizens all around the country. They are the integral part of the second leg of the National Guard, defending the domestic interests of our country in times of crisis like Hurricane Katrina or the Boston Marathon tragedy.

If you are looking for a way to support efforts to connect unemployed National Guard members with American employers and put their incredible skill sets to use in today’s workforce, check out the American Jobs for American Heroes website today.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How Sequestration and Furloughs Hurt Our Heroes


The Watervliet Arsenal, shown Monday, July 8, 2013,
in Watervliet, N.Y., will be affected by the
federal cost cutting effort called the sequester
starting this week.
(Skip Dickstein/Times Union)
For the next 11 weeks, thousands of National Guard soldiers, airmen, and Department of Defense employees across the country will work four-day weeks for 20 percent reduced pay because of federal sequestration.

Unfortunately, the negative effects of these furloughs do not stop at simple pay cuts for civilians and other Defense Department employees. As these cuts are implemented, leaders and organizations around the country are beginning to realize the incredible breadth of unintended consequences of the cuts.

In three Gulf Coast states, republican lawmakers who previously championed sequestration are now asking President Obama to end sequester-mandated National Guard furloughs. Governors Rick Scott, Bobby Jindal and Phil Bryant, of Florida, Louisiana, and Florida, respectively, have stated that as Tropical Storm Chantal heads closer to Florida, sequestration is “costing the state in readiness.”

Governor Scott spoke more specifically to National Guard furlough concerns in a radio interview recently, saying, “The problem is you’re losing training time, you’re losing preparation time. When will the National Guard make the decision that we stop the furloughs? Right after the hurricane hits?”

Natural disasters are not the only tragedy that furloughs might exacerbate. In Chicago, following a 4th of July weekend where 74 people were shot and 12 were killed, State Rep. Monique Davis has asked that Gov. Patrick Quinn “order the Illinois National Guard…to come to Chicago and work with our mayor, Rahm Emanuel, to provide safety for the children, especially, and for all who walk in Chicago.”

But will the Illinois National Guard have enough resources to help? According to CBS St. Louis, 1,300 employees of the Illinois Guard “will be taking 14 days of furloughs through the end of this fiscal year.”

Just like the needs of the citizens of places like Florida and Chicago do not take a day off once a week, the needs of the families of these National Guard members also don't stop.

The upcoming budget cuts mean that our heroes will need our help more than ever. If you would like to help our campaign connect unemployed National Guard members, veterans, and spouses with American employers, please visit the American Jobs for American Heroes website or follow us on Twitter today @USJobs4USHeroes.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Day Without Pay


As people around the country return to their jobs after the Fourth of July weekend, thousands of National Guard and Reserve soldiers are wondering if they will be able to keep theirs.
This week marks the first round of defense furloughs, a part of Congress’s automatic budget cuts. While the full impact of the cuts have not yet been announced, over 650,000 people employed by the Defense Department will be forced to take 11 days without pay between today and September.
Unfortunately, the problems may not stop at the end of this year. The Defense Department is only allowed to give employees 22 furlough days a year, so if Congress allows the same automatic budget cuts to continue without cuts in spending, the day off for employees may turn into a layoff.
It will not be easy for any military family to adjust to these pay cuts - Cuts that some experts say will amount to 20% of a soldier's salary.

To read more about the upcoming budget cuts, check out yesterday’s Washington Post report on defense furloughs here.
The American Jobs for American Heroes campaign was founded to help members of the National Guard and veterans find stable, civilian employment, something that proves more significant with the growing uncertainty coming from Washington.
The upcoming budget cuts mean that National Guard members will need our help more than ever. If you are already a supporter of our campaign, please share our organization’s information with anyone searching for an opportunity to help American veterans. If you are not yet a member of our campaign, take a look at our website and follow us on Twitter - @USJobs4USHeroes

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

We at the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign hope that everyone has a happy, fun, and safe 4th of July weekend!
We hope you enjoy the fireworks, BBQ, and sunshine while you celebrate our country’s independence.  We also hope you take a moment to remember the sacrifices of all the brave men and women who have protected and defended us for the past 237 years.
There is no better way to recognize the sacrifices made by our military forces than by helping to ensure that they have every opportunity to succeed after their service is complete. Our mission at American Jobs for American Heroes is to connect unemployed National Guard members, veterans, and spouses with American employers and make their transition from the military to professional life as smooth as possible.
If you would like to join our cause by posting jobs for veterans, please check out our website or follow us on Twitter - @USJobs4USHeroes
Have a great 4th of July weekend!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's Easy to Promote the National Guard Job Posting Campaign

Nearly 700 employers all over the U.S. have registered to post jobs for thousands of unemployed National Guard members.  Job postings are plugged directly into the National Guard Employment Network in which hundreds of state National Guard employment counselors are working one-on-one with Guard members to match them with jobs.  All services to employers and candidates are free.
If you are a supporter of the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign, use one of these graphics and the sample text below to promote the campaign!
It’s easy: The graphics are sized to fit perfectly in your Facebook timeline.  You can download one or both by right-clicking on the graphic, and then choosing "Save as" or "Save Image".  Save it to a folder on your hard drive.

Sample Text For You to Post

Nearly 700 companies across America have registered to post jobs for unemployed National Guard members in this nonprofit campaign. Postings are flowing every week to state National Guard employment counselors who work one-on-one with Guard members needing jobs. Register on the campaign website - http://www.CenterForAmerica.org/pledge/ng/ajah_mm.html.
No costs to employers or applicants!
As always, thank you for your continued dedication and support to our nation's heroes!

If you are new to the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign, please take a look at our website or follow us on Twitter today! - @USJobs4USHeroes

Monday, June 24, 2013

How Military Friendly is Your City?

In a follow up to their list of top 100 Military Friendly Employers, Victory Media has released their list of the top 50 cities on the country for veterans.
The list ranks cities by the number of job openings at Military Friendly employers, the number of veteran-owned businesses, the cost of living, and unemployment rates. Out of the 381 cities examined by Victory Media, only 12.5% made their cut of top fifty.
Texas topped this year’s list with three cities in the top five: San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. San Antonio has 102 military friendly employers, 41 military friendly schools, and 663 veteran-owned businesses.
Other major cities that made the cut include Phoenix, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., and Boston.
You can see the full list here.
To help your city make the top of the list and help connect unemployed National Guard members, veterans, and spouses with American employers, check out the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign at our website or follow us on Twitter today! - @USJobs4USHeroes

Friday, June 21, 2013

The American Fence Association and the National Wood Flooring Association Highlight American Jobs for American Heroes

Both the American Fence Association and the National Wood Flooring Association included feature stories in their trade magazines this May supporting the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign.
Hardwood Floors has been the official magazine of the National Wood Flooring Association since its first publication in 1988. It serves as an excellent educational tool for flooring industry and is essential to businesses and professionals across the country. The association represents all facets of the hardwood flooring industry, from manufacturers and distributors to retailers and installers.
Fencepost Magazine has been the official publication of the American Fence Association since 1988. The association has more than 900 members and 30 chapters in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and 18 other countries around the world, representing over 8,500 employers and employees in the fence, deck, and railing industry. The AFA promotes peer-to-peer networking and industry-specific education and training, all aimed to grow and improve businesses.
We are incredibly grateful for the mention and kind words by both organizations. Thank you to NWFA and AFA for your support!
You can read the full article in Hardwood Floors here.
The full article by Fencepost Magazine is on page 38 of their Third Quarter publication, or you can read it here.
Check out the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign by visiting our website today!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

U.S. Senators Call Hiring our Heroes a “Win-Win”

When the Department of Homeland Security needs help finding skilled workers to run the security equipment and technology to protect our borders, who do they turn to?
Their top choice for the job is National Guard members, reservists, and veterans, as Rick Maze of the Army Times reported earlier today.
In fact, the Department of Homeland Security has advocated for an amendment in the Senate that would offer signing bonuses, incentives, and even student loan repayment to veterans who take border security jobs.
According to Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AK) and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), passing the amendment this week was a no-brainer. For Sen. Johanns, a co-sponsor of the legislation, it is “a win-win amendment that encourages our current and former military service members to pursue jobs in border security, adding to the ranks of highly trained professionals dedicated to protecting our nation’s border.”
Sen. Pryor, another co-sponsor of the amendment, agreed with his colleague and added that “we need the best and brightest to stand guard at our border, and I can think of no individuals better trained for this role than our military members and veterans. They've shown time and time again that they’re dedicated to serving our nation.”
The amendment, S. 744, The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, will now be sent to the full Senate for debate as part of a major immigration bill. Senate leaders hope to reach a decision on the bill by the end of June.
If passed, the bill would offer those who take a full-time job as a border patrol agent up to $80,000 in repayment of student loans, along with their full salary. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security would offer recruitment, relocation, and retention bonuses.
This legislation is just one example of ways to put the skills of American service members to use in today's workforce. The American Jobs for American Heroes campaign is working with employers around the country to find opportunities for the unique and valuable skills that our heroes bring home from combat.
To help us find jobs for National Guard members, reservists, and veterans, please take a look at the American Jobs for American Heroes website today.

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Guard Fast Facts

If you were following us on Twitter this week, you probably noticed that we were sharing some Fast Facts about the brave men and women who make up the US National Guard.  If you missed them, here they are.

  • The unemployment rate for members of the National Guard is hovering about 20%, 2x rate of all military veterans as a group.
  • There are more than 60,000 unemployed National Guard members looking for jobs right now.
  • Only one in four applicants makes it into the National Guard.
  • The National Guard provides 107 types of training.
  • Of the 60,000+ unemployed members, about half are 30 years old or younger.
  • The National Guard is the oldest part of the military, it's 376 years old.
  • The National Guard operates the air defense system protecting Washington DC.
  • 50,000 Guardsmembers helped the Gulf states after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Twenty US presidents have served in the militia or the National Guard.
  • On any given day, an average of 4700 National Guard members are away from home in support of national security.
  • The army national guard has fought in every war in American history.

  • Remember to follow AJAH on Twitter to keep up to date on our campaign to connect veterans, members of the National Guard, reservists and their families with American employers.  Follow us and help us find jobs for heroes - @USJobs4USHeroes

    Understand the Federal Tax Benefiting for Hiring Veterans, National Guard Members and Reservists

    Check out this free publication prepared for AJAH by Caplin & Drysdale.  It provides a clear and concise understanding of the federal tax benefits for hiring and employing veterans, members of the National Guard and reservists.  In addition, it gives unique, step-by-step guidance.

    What's more - It even includes links to the required IRS and DoL forms employers need to submit.  With this guide in hand, your business can quickly and easily decide if your company is eligible for tax benefits and learn and how to file.  Download it here to get more information on -

    • Returning Heroes Tax Credit
    • Wounded Warrior Tax Credit
    • Activated Military Reservist Credit for Small Businesses
    • Federal Empowerment Zone Employment Credit
    The guide comes recommended by US Senator Max Baucus, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.  In the publication's Forward he writes, “I am glad to recommend to employers everywhere that they make a special effort to hire our veterans.  I’m also glad to recommend this employer tax credit guide as a convenient and reliable way to learn about the significant federal tax benefits available to employers who hire veterans.  The American Jobs for America’s Heroes campaign has made it easy to understand how to qualify for and successfully claim the employer tax credits in these federal programs.”

    Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    New South Carolina National Guard Program Cuts Veteran Unemployment Rates


    SC National Guard soldier Jonathan LeBlanc recently
    found a job with Moore Quality Builders
    An innovative new program in South Carolina has drastically lowered unemployment rates among National Guard members and Reservists over the past year.

    But how has South Carolina succeeded while so many other states’ unemployment rates remain far too high? Jeff Wilkinson of South Carolina's The State decided to interview the minds behind the program and find out more in his story this Saturday.
    The state's Guard’s Employment Services program takes a simple approach to help veterans: build their relationships with potential employers. Col. Ronald Taylor, director of the S.C. Guard’s Service Member and Family Care programs, says that “prior to the program, employers who wanted to hire might not have been aware of qualified Guard employees, and vice versa.”
    Gen. Robert Livingston, Jr., the state’s Guard commander, agreed: ‘It was just a matter of matching them up.”

    This simple, yet innovative, approach has plummeted the unemployment rate for soldiers from 16% to 4.7% in just two years. Wilkinson writes that by combining training workshops to teach service members how to prepare for civilian jobs with outreach to potential employers searching for skilled workers, South Carolina’s program has successfully fit together the two crucial pieces in its state’s unemployment puzzle.
    The American Jobs for American Heroes campaign has used this same strategy to improve employment opportunities for service members.  With the support of state chambers of commerce, trade associations and major corporations, as well as a recruiters, career counselors, and employment-readiness training, the campaign team helps connect many military personnel with American employers.
    We need more efforts like these across all 50 states.  Employers and those who want to support the troops can learn more about the American Jobs for American Heroes program by visiting our website today.
    To read Jeff Wilkinson's full article, click here.

    Monday, June 10, 2013

    Veterans and Entrepreneurs: Returning Soldiers Create New Job Opportunities

    The United States’ economic downturn has affected millions of families over the past few years. Many Americans cannot find the jobs that they need, and companies are having a hard time finding the right people to work for them. Nowhere is this problem more obvious than with members of the National Guard. Their unemployment rate is around 20%, far higher than the national average. And, there are more than 60,000 highly qualified but unemployed National Guard members looking for jobs right now.
    Robert Rummels signs 1 of his 15 new customers at a trade show

    But, if you ask any National Guard member or reservist today if they have given up hope in finding the right job for them, what would they say?
    Shobana Chandra of Bloomberg News gives us their answer: “Always ready, always there,” and prepared to face any challenge.
    In her recent article for Bloomberg News Online, “Soldiers Turn Entrepreneurs as One Million Exit Military,” Chandra focuses on how well the skills reservists and National Guard members learn in the military translate into the professional sector. Despite the frustrations of unemployment, the soldiers she interviewed return to their “always ready” mantra and adapt to the hurdles of the business world.
    Chandra highlights the story of Kevin Safley, a National Guard member who served twice in Iraq and came back from his tour to find that  his job at a crane company in Portland had disappeared. Even with no prospects of employment, Safley knew he could use the skills he learned in the military for his benefit. So, after telling himself over and over, “if I don’t give up, things will work out,” Safley opened his own auto care franchise in Vancouver this last year.
    Safley’s example is not an unique one for our returning troops. Chandra reports that veterans today own about 2.4 million businesses and employ 5.8 million workers. Mary Thompson, a veteran who now serves as president of Waco-based Mr. Rooster LLC, attributes this success to the multitude of “skills that translate over” from the military to the business world.
    Robert Rummels, a former Army Ranger and another figure in Chandra's story, agrees. When he started his own pest-control franchise after returning from a tour of duty this year, he used his military training in a new setting. He says that when he goes to work, “it feels like I’m on patrol. This time, I have a new enemy. Mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas.”
    But, with over one million troops expected to return home from duty in the next year, not every soldier will be able to start his or her own business. Our returning heroes will need all of the help they can to show companies they are the right people for the job, and that they can be the solution for the skilled worker shortage in the U.S. today.
    Our mission at American Jobs for American Heroes is to do just that. We connect skilled veterans with employers who have unfilled jobs, and make sure our heroes have an easy transition from military to professional life through job training and career counseling.
    If you are interested in supporting our nation's heroes in their mission to find the right jobs to support themselves and their families, or if you are a company interested in hiring veterans to fill your job needs, please take a look at the American Jobs for American Heroes website today.

    To read Shobhana Chandra's full article at Bloomberg News, click here.

    Friday, June 7, 2013

    Spotlight on Supporters: Empire State

    One of the best things about the American Jobs for America's Heroes campaign is that it brings together a wide range of supporters from all across the country united in the mission of helping our heroes find employment.

    Being a campaign supporter is fast, easy, and FREE!  And there are so many ways to get involved.  Many of our campaign supporters are associations and membership groups who have decided to support AJAH by posting our logo and link to our campaign homepage on their website and sending our materials to their members.

    Today, we're giving you the opportunity to learn more about some of the people who are helping our heroes.  Here are three different and interesting supporters from the great state of New York.

    The Associated New York State Food Processors is the oldest statewide food processing trade association in the U.S.  The Association is based in Spencerport, NY and it includes a major portion of the state processed food industry.  And the list of processors is extensive!  It includes fruits, vegetables, wine, and food specialty items.  The association also includes canners and refrigerated warehouse companies.  Current membership is about 250 companies.  We are grateful for their efforts to support AJAH by including links in the groups monthly newsletter and is distributing AJAH flyers at its membership meetings.

    The Eastern New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers (ENYCAR) is an association representing car retailers and affiliated businesses in 13 northeast counties of New York State. ENYCAR helps AJAH by sending information and links to member companies in its monthly newsletter. 

    The Central New York Society for Human Resources Management (CNY SHRM) is a professional society comprised of 700 members from about 400 companies in the greater Syracuse, New York area. CNY SHRM has posted the AJAH logo and links to its home page.  In addition, they printed our logo and a link on the front page of the Society's October 2012 chapter newsletter.

    Join these supporters from the Empire State as well the many other friends of our campaign by registering to post open jobs for veterans and members of the US National Guard.


    Florida Governor Asks Senate Not to Cut National Guard Pay

    Florida Governor Rick Scott asked his state's two senators, Sen. Bill Nelson and Sen. Marco Rubio, not to allow sequestration budget cuts to lower National Guard pay by 20% this Wednesday. Scott wrote Rubio and Nelson a letter requesting that the Senators pressure the Office of Budget and Management and the Defense Department to restore National Guard funding.

    As a result of across-the-board sequestration cuts passed by Congress in 2011, the budgets of defense programs that coordinate National Guard activity in every state have been dramatically reduced.

    However, the Senators have jointly denied Gov. Scott's request, and it seems as if the pay cuts will go ahead.

    This could be especially devastating as the state of Florida often relies on Guardsmen and women to respond to natural disasters.  And forecasters predict that 7 to 11 hurricanes and 13 to 20 storms with winds over 39 mph will occur this season.

    Florida Senate President Don Gaetz agreed with Gov. Scott in a public statement yesterday: "Isn't it the height of irony to say, "Thank you for your service and, by the way, we’re cutting your pay when you’re coming home from a war zone." He added that he will continue to search for ways to get the attention of the federal government.

    With sequestration cuts affecting National Guard programs and military families across the country, there is no better time to help our servicemen and women.

    American Jobs for American Heroes is a campaign working to make sure military veterans and spouses have the resources and opportunities to find the jobs that they need to support their families during these hard times. More than 3.5 million have benefited from the program's job training and recruiter placement services, but many more still need our help. To learn more about the program please visit our website today.

    Maine National Guardsmen Awarded Soldier's Medal

    An incredible story came to a close this Monday when two members of the Maine National Guard, Sgt. First Class Joel D. Carver and Sgt. Mark A. Connor, were honored with the Soldier's Medal.

    Last March, the two soldiers took a detour from their training mission at Camp Lejune, North Carolina, to rescue two injured and unconscious passengers from a burning car. Before emergency crews could respond to the accident, the guardsmen had pulled the passengers from the overturned car and out to safety.

    The Soldier's Medal is our nation's highest non-combat award for valor. According to a statement from the National Guard, "The medal is awarded to any individual whom while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, performs an act involving personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life while not in conflict with an armed enemy." 

    Sergeants Carver and Connor risked their lives to protect two strangers, but to them it was all part of their job. As Sgt. Connor puts it, his heroism is just "what anybody would do" in their situation. In fact, the soldiers said that receiving so much attention for their act was "overwhelming and humbling."

    But, these guardsmen are simply not like anybody else. The story of Sergeants Carver and Connor provides a great example of the continued heroism members of the National Guard bring out of their combat experience and into their everyday lives.  The skills and traits they have honed over years of commitment to saving lives and defending our country make them very unique members of civilian society and especially valuable employees.

    If you are interested in giving back to those who give so much to our nation, please visit the American Jobs for American Heroes website. Together, we can ensure that our nation's heroes have the opportunities for employment that they deserve.

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Spotlight on Supporters: Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers' Enterprise and

    We have two brand new supporters that we are thrilled to report have joined the cause -


    First, the Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers' Enterprise (FAME).  FAME is made up of New York regional stakeholders including advanced manufacturing companies, regional educators, economic development leaders, workforce planners and leaders, job seekers and students.  We are very excited to see the AJAH logo on their website and hear that they are encouraging their many members to post available jobs and hire heroes!


    Secondly, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has jumped on board bringing the number of Chambers who support our cause to more than 50%.  We were very pleased that they dedicated space on their Military Affairs Committee page to promote our new campaign video and encourage their members to post jobs.

    You can join the numerous supporters of AJAH by visiting the Center for America website.

    New York Chamber of Commerce Sponsors National Guard Job Fair

    The New York Chamber of Commerce is hosting a job fair for its "Hiring Our Heroes" initiative today.

    The New York job fair is similar to many other events hosted by Chambers of Commerce around the country, and will continue to build on the popularity of the program thus far. Since launching in March of 2011, the "Hiring Our Heroes" program has hosted over 540 job fairs and helped more than 100,000 veterans and military spouses find jobs.

    Today's job fair features over 60 employers, a rèsume writing workshop, and classroom session to teach job interview techniques. To read more about attending the event, you can click here.

    While the "Hiring Our Heroes" program is well on its way to achieving its goal of helping 500,000 veterans find jobs, there is still significant work to be done. Unemployment rates for veterans and members of the National Guard are far higher than the average unemployment rate. Our veterans are skilled, dedicated professionals who have an immense amount to offer the professional sector, but the transition from military to civilian life is often difficult.

    The American Jobs for American Heroes campaign is focused on job creation and job readiness for the U.S. military. Our nation's soldiers make huge sacrifices during their time in active duty, and we believe that they should not have to sacrifice opportunities for employment when they return home. To learn more about our cause and how to help our servicemen and women, please visit the American Jobs for American Heroes website today.

    Friday, May 31, 2013

    Victory Media Releases 2013 List of Top 100 Military Friendly Employers

    Victory Media, founded by veterans in 2001, has released its 10th annual list of top 100 Military Friendly Employers. As a company dedicated to "producing world class resources for our nation’s most deserving population," the armed forces, Victory Media rates companies each year to streamline the employment process for veterans and other servicemen and women.

    This year, the manufacturing and energy industries topped the list of Military Friendly Employers, taking up five of the top ten positions with companies like General Electric, CSX Corporation, and Southern Company.

    These organizations have been recognized for their initiative to provide employment opportunities for our armed forces, and the success of their practices represents an even greater opportunity for major companies and trade associations to hire experienced, professional veterans to alleviate their skills shortage problems.

    For more information on how to join these Military Friendly companies and the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign in helping unemployed National Guard members, veterans, and spouses find skilled jobs in the private sector, please visit the Center for America website today.

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    Ohio House of Representatives Passes Bill to Help Veterans Obtain Employment

    State legislators in Ohio responded to growing unemployment rates among veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves by unanimously passing H.B. 98 last Wednesday.

    The bill was cosponsored by Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) and Rep. Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton), and gathered widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans after its introduction this March. Leaders in the House such as Rep. Brian Hill (R-Gainesville) applauded the bill's passage, announcing that "this bill comes at a great time when an industry such as shale development is looking for a well-trained and dedicated workforce. We want to welcome our veterans home and help them find employment."

    H.B. 98 helps veterans apply for professional licenses in Ohio, a state where the military specialties taught by the Ohio National Guard directly relate to 47 of the 66 professional licenses offered. Additionally, the bill offers extensions of licenses to members of the National Guard whose licenses have expired while they were mobilized overseas.

    The bill will now move to the Ohio Senate, where it is expected to pass easily. Members of the House continue to throw their support behind the bill, including Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario), who stressed that the bill ensures that when "Ohio military veterans return home, they are not at a disadvantage in finding work."  "This is common sense legislation that permits returning heroes to re-enter the workforce without delay,” he said.

    If you would like to help the servicemen and women in your community find employment, please visit the Center for America website to learn more about the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign.


    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    Society for Human Resource Management: Veterans’ Employment

    An article posted on the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) website this week discusses resources available to help HR departments hire members of the military.

    In a section titled, "Resources addressing where to find qualified job candidates," the article mentions our campaign!

    Read the full article here and see how our "free service enables employers to post jobs...for direct access by hundreds of state National Guard employment counselors who actively match job candidates with the employer’s job requirements."

    Thanks, SHRM, for your support!

    AJAH Video: Employers Gain Great Benefits form Hiring National Guard Members

    Want to learn more about AJAH and how we're helping potential employers and employees connect?

    Watch this great new video featuring:
    • Brigadier General Marianne Watson, National Guard
    • Larry Ziemba and Peter Terenzio, Phillips 66
    • Dave Tilstone, National Tooling and Machining Assn
    • Stacy Bayton and Erin Voirol, CASY-MSCCN
    • Ted Toth, Rosenberger-Toth Industries
    • Todd Young, Center for America
     

    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    AJAH Featured in WIN Magazine Cover Story


    WIN Magazine just published an excellent article about the National Guard and the AJAH campaign and we couldn't be more excited about it!

    The article, authored by Larry Ziemba, executive vice president of Phillips 66 and chairman of the AJAH Campaign Advisory Council, explains the tremendous opportunities for employers in hiring Guard members.

    The article is insightful and inspiring and we are very grateful to the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) for publishing this fantastic cover story for their 1.28 million readers.



    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Carl Levin: We have to take better care of our National Guard, Reserve

    Carl Levin, The senior U.S. senator from Michigan
    and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
    In an opinion piece posted today on The Times Herald website, Michigan Senator Carl Levin expresses the importance of caring for members of the US National Guard and Reserve forces and their families.

    Levin explains the value of these civilian soldiers to the US military and raises concerns about several problems facing them today.

    He notes that members of the National Guard and Reserve units often live far away from military bases and therefore struggle to get much-needed mental and physical heath services which are offered by the Defense Department.  He underscores this important point by referrencing recent testimony about the growing number of suicides in the National Guard and Reserves.

    Importantly for our campaign, Levin also pointed to the high level of unemployment that plagues the civilian warrior community.

    While in Michigan, Levin spoke to a National Research Summit on Reserve Component Families.  In his piece, he expressed gratitude for their efforts and the efforts of others to improve the lives of members of the National Guard and Reserve forces. 

    Today, we are also grateful for their work and for the work of Senator Levin whose excellent op-ed is bringing awareness to a crucial issue.

    Look for ways to get involved in finding jobs for heroes on the Center for America website.

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    Spotlight on Supporters: Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce

    Check out the awesome sign hanging on the front of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce building!  That's right - There we are, front and center!


    Founded in 1911, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) is the state's chamber of commerce and largest business trade association representing more than 3,500 employers of every size and from every sector of the economy.

    We are thrilled to have WMC's support through their great signage and their commitment to encouraging their members to post jobs on the Center for America site.

    If you would like to join WMC and the many other state chambers that support AJAH, visit the Center for America site today.

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    Press Release from AJAH: National Guard-Veterans Jobs Campaign Joins White House Push for “Streamlined Employment Opportunities”


    National Guard-Veterans Jobs Campaign Joins White House Push for “Streamlined Employment Opportunities”

    ATLANTA, April 30, 2013 – The American Jobs for America’s Heroes (AJAH) National Guard and veterans’ jobs campaign today joined with First Lady Michelle Obama and the current White House initiative to help service members and veterans find and qualify for quality jobs in the private sector.

    The AJAH campaign, made up of more than 80 trade and professional associations, non-profit organizations, and state Chambers of Commerce representing more than 150,000 companies nationwide, is a non-profit alliance with the National Guard to help unemployed National Guard members, veterans and spouses find skilled jobs in the private sector.  Phillips 66, an energy manufacturing and logistics company (NYSE:PSX), is the lead national sponsor for this campaign.  Currently, 60,000 National Guard members are unemployed – approximately 20% of the total force.

    First Lady Michelle Obama’s announcement yesterday of the new IT credentialing and training effort underscores the ongoing challenge of “translating military experience in hundreds of disciplines to match private sector jobs requirements,” said Steve Nowlan, president of Center for America, a non-profit coordinating the AJAH campaign.

    “The men and women who serve in the National Guard or have served in the military branches are trained, skilled, and equipped to move into private sector employment in many fields, including manufacturing,” said Bill Gaskin, president of Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), which represents the $113 billion metalforming industry in North America with 900 member companies.  PMA is a member of the AJAH campaign.

    “The process of transitioning from the military to the private sector presents obstacles that our industry, the AJAH campaign, and the federal government’s current push will address,” said Dave Tilstone, president of the National Tooling and Machining Association, which represents the $40 billion tooling and machining industry with 2,000 members and 50 chapters nationally.  NTMA is a member of the AJAH campaign.

    How American Jobs for America’s Heroes works

    AJAH provides direct, hands-on support for employers and for job applicants, serving both as a critical stand-alone program and an important complement to existing employment efforts and job fairs.  Job postings are plugged directly into a case management system that unifies National Guard Employment Network and voluntary state supports groups around the nation into a unified infrastructure to improve matching and follow-through.

    Companies that register are assigned case managers who work with company recruiting staff to provide hands-on help in making matches. There are no fees to participating companies or job candidates.

    Employers who want to post open positions on National Guard and veteran’s job banks can sign up through the Center for America website at: www.CenterforAmerica.org/register.html

    About The Center for America
    The Center for America (www.centerforamerica.org) is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 that focuses its national efforts on educating and empowering the public about barriers to free enterprise, the need for expanded skills training and job creation, and the impact of lawsuit abuse on reducing job creation.

    Connect with the AJAH campaign - 

    Twitter:              @USJobs4USHeroes  
    Blog:                http://americanjobsforamericasheroes.blogspot.com/

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    Give "citizen warriors" the support they need at home

    In addition to the challenges National Guard members face in finding employment, they also sometimes face difficulties balancing the expectations of their employers with the demands of their continued Guard service.

    An op-ed published this week by the South Carolina Post and Courier tackles that issue head-on.

    Penned by John Green, a retired officer of the 315th Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve in Charleston and the state chair of South Carolina Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense operational committee, the op-ed trumpets the state's accomplishments in lowering unemployment rates among National Guard Service members and issues a call to action for continued support efforts.

    In the fall of 2011, Green writes, 14% of South Carolina National Guard members were unemployed.  Today, that number is down to 3.9%. This is the result, Green says, of government programs and private sector support.

    But the state's good work cannot stop now, says Green.  He challenges South Carolina employers to go beyond hiring and take on a support role as their National Guard member employees continue their commitments to the Guard and provide quick response to overseas combat and domestic crises.

    Read Green's full op-ed here.

    Importantly, Green and many others have noted that hiring National Guard members is well worth any compromise necessary to accommodate their training and deployment schedules because Guard members are well-trained leaders who bring integrity, perspective and toughness to the workplace.

    If you think your business would benefit from National Guard employees, register to submit your open jobs to American Jobs for America's Heroes on the Center for America website.





    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    Spotlight on Supporters: The Plumbing & Mechanical Association of Georgia

    This week's spotlighted supporter is the Plumbing & Mechanical Association of Georgia (PMA).

    PMA is a partnership of industry contractors, manufacturers, wholesalers and industry affiliate members who commit to providing business management tools for the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors and other Industry Professionals.  PMA is affiliated with the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC).

    Representing the interests of the industry since 1892, PMA has a special focus on education and communication.  For example, PMA offers several education and training courses (e.g., for state licensing exams).  You can learn more about those programs here.

    We were very grateful in February when PMA posted a link to the American Jobs for America's Heroes campaign newsletter in its weekly legislative update which went to all Georgia PMA members.

    Download this flyer from the Center for America website to see how your trade association can join PMA and our other campaign supporters.



    Texas National Guard Responds to Fertilizer Plant Explosion in Texas

    Earlier this week, we wrote about members of the Boston National Guard and Guard members from other, nearby states responding to the horrific attacks at the Boston marathon.
    Photo from Slate.com

    Last night, a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked the small town of West, Texas.  The plant is located near a residential area and early reports indicate that between five and 15 people were killed and over 160 people were injured in the blast.

    As with the marathon early this week, National Guard members lived up to their "Always Ready, Always There" motto and were among the first responders.

    The Associated Press reported this morning that about 20 members of the Texas National Guard were on the scene.


    According to the report, the unit on-hand typically has mobile labs and can perform air monitoring while also assessing chemical and biological hazards at disasters.

    This is another terrible tragedy and another reminder to be grateful for the constant readiness and willingness of the US National Guard members.

    Take a moment to show your gratitude by registering to submit jobs and hire heroes on the Center for America website.


    Remarks by the First Lady at the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013 Bill Signing

    A few days ago, we wrote about first lady Michelle Obama attending a bill signing at the Maryland State House.  Mrs. Obama witnessed Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's signing of the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013 yesterday.  The following is a full text of her remarks.


    MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Good afternoon.  It is truly a pleasure to be here in Maryland today.

    But before we get started, I want to take a moment to say that our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Boston.  My husband continues to monitor the situation, and he has directed the full resources of the federal government to assist state and local authorities as they investigate this horrific act.

    First lady Michelle Obama witnesses bill signing.
    Photo from The White House
    And what happened on Monday was a reminder that in times of crisis, here in America we respond with courage, and grit, and selflessness.  That’s exactly what we saw from the people of Boston, and from all those who rushed to aid the victims, especially the police officers and firefighters, the first responders, and our men and women in uniform.

    And that is the spirit of Boston, but it is also the spirit of this country.  And in many ways, that’s the spirit of service and sacrifice that we are here to honor today.

    So I want to thank Governor O’Malley for hosting us, but also for his tremendous leadership for the state of Maryland and for all of his efforts on behalf of our troops, veterans, and military families.

    I also want to thank Lieutenant Governor Brown; the Secretary of the Navy, Secretary Mabus; and all of the servicemembers from Fort Meade and the United States Naval Academy who are here with us today.

    And I’d like to recognize all of the Maryland state legislators:  Attorney General Gansler, Mayor Cohen, the representatives we have here from veterans service organizations and the University of Maryland, and to all of the military family members who are joining us today.  Welcome, and thank you for being here.

    And, finally, I want to thank Senior Chief Hite and his wonderful family who I got to meet -- Mom and Dad are here, and his handsome son, who I will embarrass -- (laughter) -- but we are proud of you all.  But I want to thank you all for your service to this country, because the truth is, is that every family member serves, and every time I meet a servicemember, a veteran, I don’t just thank him or her, I think children and parents and grandparents and brothers and sisters, because everyone in some way is part of that service.  And thank you for sharing your story with us today.

    Two years ago, Jill Biden and I launched Joining Forces in large part because we’d heard too many stories like that of Senior Chief Hite’s.  We had heard the stories of military spouses like Janelle Gray, whose husband serves in the Air Force at Fort Meade.

    Janelle was a professional counselor for seven years in Minnesota and North Dakota.  But when she and her husband were transferred here to Maryland, she found out that she’d either have to wait three years or take additional coursework and get extra training before she could get back to work.

    And then there were all the veterans we’d heard from -- the Army medics who couldn’t get jobs as EMTs; the Marine welders who couldn’t land a manufacturing job here; or the convoy drivers who couldn’t get hired to drive a semi.

    Earlier today, I was over at the U.S. Naval Academy, and I met with some wonderful individuals who are here today in the healthcare professions who have served this country for years -- even decades -- and have mastered so many highly technical, high-demand skills.

    But even with all that experience, these men and women wouldn’t even be considered for entry-level jobs in their fields because they didn’t have the right civilian credentials.  And all of this is happening after we have already asked so much of our troops.

    We have asked them to risk their lives in combat, manage dozens of peers, operate complicated machinery, oversee millions of dollars of assets, and save lives on the battlefield.  And then, when they come home, we’re also asking them to repeat months of training for skills they’ve already mastered.  So we have to ask ourselves:  How does this make sense?

    And the same is true for our military spouses.  We’re asking them to juggle a full-time job and their family’s finances, and the entire household all alone while their spouse is deployed overseas.  And we’re asking them to move their families to new communities and new states every couple of years.  And after they do all that, we’re also asking them to wait months and pay hundreds of dollars in fees just to be able to continue their careers?

    That’s just not right.  And let me be clear -- this is about more than just eliminating a few bureaucratic headaches for these men and women.  This is about improving the financial security for thousands of military families.  It’s about giving veterans and their spouses an opportunity to build their careers and create a better future for their children.

    So with all of that on the line, we knew we had to get this fixed.  And that meant we had to turn to state leaders like so many of you here in this room, because you all are the only ones who can make an impact on these licensing issues.

    And I’m here today not just because Annapolis is beautiful -- which it is, and I wish I could stay and have ice cream and crab cakes -- (laughter) -- but I would clog up the city.  I will be back.  (Laughter.)  But I’m here today because here in Maryland, you all have done just that.

    You have come together to take a bold step forward on behalf of our troops, veterans, and military families.  And by doing so, your state is joining a growing list of states that are addressing this issue.

    Since last year, when I spoke to our nation’s governors about the issues facing military spouses, the number of states that have passed laws to help those spouses has more than tripled -- from 11 to 36.   And since we spoke with the governors again at the end of February of this year, this time about veterans issues, 13 states, including Maryland, have acted to help our veterans earn credentials.

    And let me tell you, your bill here in Maryland is one of the best bills that we have seen in this entire country.  You all are tackling three big issues all at once.  You’re helping our veterans obtain professional credentials.  You’re helping them earn college credit.  And you’re making it easier for military spouses to continue their careers as they transfer to your state.

    So I want to say a huge thank you to Governor O’Malley for his leadership on this effort and to all of the legislators who have made our military families a priority.  You all didn’t just ask yourselves, can we do this.  You asked yourselves, how can we do it right; how can we serve our men and women in uniform as well as they’ve served us.

    But I also want to make an important point here:  This is not simply about patriotism and repaying our debt to our servicemen and women.  This is also about putting highly skilled individuals to work in communities all across Maryland and throughout the country.  It’s about strengthening our hospitals and our schools, and making our businesses more productive and dynamic.

    That’s why the bill that’s being signed into law today is so important.  And I want you to know that we’re working at the federal level to address these issues as well.  For example, my husband has championed programs to help our troops get their civilian credentials in areas like manufacturing, medicine, and transportation before they leave the Armed Forces.  And I want to recognize the Navy, in particular, for leading the way on this issue with sailors earning more than 80,000 credentials in the last six years.

    So all of these efforts couldn’t be more important as we look at what’s coming in the years ahead.  With the Iraq war over, the war in Afghanistan winding down, more than a million servicemembers are going to be hanging up their uniforms and transitioning back to civilian life.  And that comes on top of the hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses already out there looking for work.

    So even though we’ve made a lot of progress on veterans employment over the past few years, as a country, we still have a lot more work to do.  And that means we need to redouble our efforts across the board.  We need more businesses to make big, bold commitments to hire and train our veterans and military spouses.  We need more hospitals and colleges and employers from every sector to recognize our veterans’ and military spouses’ unique skills and experiences, and give them a fair shot at a job.  We need every single state that has not already acted on these licensing and credentialing issues to follow Maryland’s lead and clear away every unnecessary obstacle facing our veterans and military spouses.

    And while these bills are a wonderful first step, we can’t rest until we’ve worked with our licensing boards, colleges, and universities to make sure these bills are fully implemented so that our veterans and military spouses get the credentials and the jobs they need.

    And if we all step up in this way, if we all keep coming together on this issue, we will be sending a powerful message of love and support that makes a real, concrete difference for our military families.  We’ll be helping them build their careers, support their families, and find new ways to serve this country, which they so desperately want to do.  And that’s what Joining Forces is about.  And that’s why we’re not going to stop working until every state has enacted legislation to address these issues.  We’re not going to stop until every single military family in America gets the honor and support they’ve earned.

    And so to all the military families here today, I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that we are going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.  We are in this for the long haul.  And we are bound and determined to repay your service and sacrifice with service and sacrifice of our own.

    So to our servicemembers and military families, thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you so much for everything you have done for this country, and everything you will continue to do in the years ahead.  And to all the elected officials, to the leaders from the University of Maryland, to all the people of this great state, thank you for stepping up to show your support for these brave men and women.

    I look forward to continuing our work together in the months and years ahead.  Thank you, God bless, and let’s get some signing done.  (Applause.)


    2012 House Committee on Veteran's Affairs Hearing: Lowering the Rate of Unemployment for the National Guard

    One of the major issues we face at American Jobs for America's Heroes is the discouraging problem of employers being hesitant to hire members of the National Guard for fear that they will have to deploy again, leaving them short-staffed.

    Some call it discrimination.  Others call joining the National Guard a career killer.

    A little over a year ago the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a hearing on this very issue called "Lowering the Rate of Unemployment for the National Guard."

    In his opening statement, Hon. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), then the chairman of the subcommittee said, "As the owner of a small business, I understand the pressures on employers that the loss of a critical employee creates.  But in the end, the question I always ask is, who is making the greater sacrifice, the employer or the service member who is literally going in harm’s way and that member’s family who must cope with all the stresses of a deployment?"

    Hon. Bruce Brayle (D-IA), then the subcommittee's ranking member, echoed the same sentiment in his opening statement saying, "It is our responsibility to create a culture where all American businesses recognize the important service of their employees who have answered the call to duty. Employers are vital to empowering employees who are members of the National Guard and Reserves.  We want all of our veterans to succeed and we want their employers to do well also."

    Catch up on this important issue and hear input from employers and veterans by watching the archived webcast of the hearing here.

    Then register on the Center for America website to hire the many heroes who are searching for jobs.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Horrific Boston Marathon Explosions - National Guard Ready to Respond

    There were more than 400 members of the Massachusetts National Guard on hand for the Boston marathon on Monday, tasked with helping to keep the route clear for the 27,000 runners who registered to race the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton, MA to Boston.

    One article published before the race quoted Pfc. Matthew S. Knowlton, a military policeman assigned to a spot at the starting line.  Knowlton said, “This is a very positive setting, I’m just happy to be here. There are a lot of people here but it’s a great crowd.”

    But, as we all know by now, a day that began like the many previous ones in which the Guard has been called upon to assist local law enforcement at the race took a decidedly different and unbelievably tragic turn.

    National Guard: Always Ready
    Photo from MSN
    Video from the scene posted on the National Guard website and broadcast on countless media outlets shows Guard members among the first responders, rushing toward the injured by tearing down the barricades they were protecting just moments before.

    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick highlighted the work of the Guard when he explained in a press conference that the Guard was securing the scene and limiting access to it.  He has noted that their work will be ongoing for the next few days.

    In addition, President Obama heralded the Guard's assistance when he said, "Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue to do so as we speak."

    By early yesterday morning, more then 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard as well as Guard members from nearby states had descended on Boston to provide support.

    As our hearts mourn for the people affected and the whole city of Boston, we also salute the bravery of the many National Guard members who took action immediately and selflessly in a most unexpected and horrific emergency.

    Today, more than ever, commit to supporting our troops by registering to hire heroes on the Center for America website.




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