Area human resources personnel met Wednesday to learn about a nationwide U.S. Armed Forces recruiting program that’s gaining momentum.
“It’s free for everybody — that’s what I call a win-win for everybody,” said Army Reserve Ambassador Luis Carreras, who coordinated the session with support from the Liberty County Development Authority.
Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces program support manager Allen Froman spoke to a crowd of 12 about the program’s offerings. Firth Rixson, Target, Gulfstream, SNF Holding Company, International Greetings, Liberty Regional Medical Center and the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce each had representatives on hand.
The partnership program is designed to create a long-term mutually beneficial relationship between civilian employers and the Armed Forces, and its goal is to help civilian employers fill job openings with current and former members of the Armed Forces and their dependents.
Both employers and job seekers can enroll at no cost, and there are no contracts to sign or fees for placement. The only requirement for employers is that the Employment Partnership be allowed to post job listings on its website, employerpartnership.org.
Employers stand to benefit from the program because most job seekers already will have much of the foundational training and skills required for their crafts, the presenters said. They also can enlist the help of the 20 program support managers to narrow their skill and geographic searches and to reach beyond registered users, which ultimately can lead to reduced recruiting costs.
Currently, more than 18,500 service members are registered on the site and are seeking employment opportunities, and 2,500 companies partnered with the site. Employers who elect to become employer partners have direct access to EPAF’s database and can search the database for service members who possess just the right experience and qualifications for positions they are seeking to fill.
“I’m trying to understand — how big of a resource is it for my local employment need?” Firth Rixson Georgia Vice President Chris Bohlman said. “If there’s only 100 (job seekers) available on the site, maybe it’s not as big of a pool as I think.”
Froman acknowledged that there are not as many job seekers registered for the site as they would hope but added that he and Carreras are working to promote the resource and increase the number of users in the area.
And, before this week, there were no employers within a 100-mile radius partnered with the program, though he has secured verbal commitments from most of the Liberty County municipalities, Carreras said.
Representatives from the U.S. Army Reserve also attended the presentation, and they surmised that the program’s benefits could be far-reaching to current and former active-duty and reserve personnel.
While active-duty soldiers already have full-time jobs and would benefit the most when their time in the service is drawing to an end, Reserve service members have great potential to benefit, they said.
“I can only assume that (by) making individual soldiers aware of this, that the pool will definitely increase, and, also, as everyone has heard, the Army will be slimming down in the next five years,” said Reserve Capt. Stephon Gardner with the 2nd Battalion, 349th Regiment logistical support unit on Fort Stewart. “We’ll definitely take this back to our battalion, because our battalion is made primarily of reserve soldiers who know nothing about this program.”
Carreras added that the program can help retain former and retired military personnel who may not want to leave the area.
If more job seekers and employers take advantage of the resource, it could help ease the search on both ends, LCDA marketing director Anna Chafin said.
“The community could also benefit, because the program could help quantify and qualify the positive attributes of a unique sector of our labor force,” Chafin added.
For more information about the Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces, go to employerpartnership.org.