A recently launched Army Reserve program helps soldiers find civilian employment and includes more than 100 partners in the academic and corporate worlds committed to hiring reservists.
The Private-Public Partnership (P30) has assisted more than 400 soldiers so far with the help of employment specialists in the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe.
Maj. Rob Stubbs, a public affairs officer for the program, said the program was started by Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, chief of the Army Reserve and commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve Command.
“About a year and a half, almost two years ago, she (Daniels) saw that there was a real problem with the traditional reserve soldiers,” Stubbs said. “Traditional reserve soldiers are one weekend a month and two weeks of the year.”
Currently, the unemployment rate is around 23.8% among the Army Reserve, according to the Commanders Strength Management Module, Stubbs said.
“That number is super high, but some of that is for soldiers who are in college and may not be looking for employment at the moment,” Stubbs said.
Alecia Grady, the program director on the civilian end, has been a big part of the program getting off the ground, according to Stubbs. Grady holds the rank of GD15, equivalent to colonel.
Stubbs said that with the unemployment rate the way it is, he was among those statistics due to being married to active personnel.
“Every time we moved, I had to find another job, which contributed to that number,” Stubbs said.
With the program, 87% of the force integrates military service with civilian careers, providing the Army with professional skills, education and expertise acquired in the private sector.
Through collaboration with organizations that offer job opportunities and a network of corporate, profit and nonprofit, and academic partners, the P30 office is connecting soldiers with an internship, employment and education opportunities.
Some partners include the Secret Service, XPO and Amazon, among others.
Securing civilian employment
2nd Lt. Roxanna Chase, an Army Reserve soldier, said the program helped her find a civilian job with Herc Rentals.
“It’s been a good experience with the program, and I was able to get a job with Herc Rentals as a sales and operations coordinator,” Chase said. “I emailed someone in the program, and a woman named Samantha reached out. It was a pretty straightforward process.”
Chase started with an interview with Samantha and said the process was speedy for her.
Although geared toward soldiers, it is also open to spouses of active personnel and veterans. Civilians with spouses in the Army Reserve, like Angela Marquez, said the program made quite a difference in her life.
“In May, I had my first meeting with a coordinator in the program about my goals and trying to find a job,” Marquez said. “Theresa helped me prepare for an interview, and after the interview, I got the job. I think it helped, and I wouldn’t have gotten the job without her help.”
Marquez landed a job with Boeing as an associate industrial engineer in Boeing Defense Space and Security in Arizona. Marquez is married to an Arizona Army Reserve soldier.
“It’s tough to get an interview, and there were a lot of specific questions about the job that was asked,” Marquez said.
Throughout her process in the program, Marquez said she was offered career advice, job research, resume advising, interview guidance, practice and tips, which made all the difference regarding the actual interview. Her offer letter was given on June 7, less than two weeks after her interview.
“This was my dream job,” Marquez said. “It was an amazing opportunity.”