Pfc. Jeremy Shiley was home from basic training and AIT for only two weeks when he was offered a job – without even searching.
Shiley, 21, signed up for the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program when he joined the military nearly two years ago, putting him on a fast track for civilian employment. He now works on the assembly line building low-capacity rough terrain forklifts for PaYS partner JCB, Inc. in Pooler, Georgia.
An unmanned aerial vehicle operator in the Georgia Army National Guard’s 78th Aviation Regiment, Shiley is one of 275,109 PaYS soldiers filling one of more than 19 million available jobs offered by nearly 1,000 current PaYS partners, according to the PaYS website.
He said PaYS is the reason JCB recruiter Bud McFadden contacted him for an interview.
“It’s a great option for soldiers transiting from military service into the civilian sector because you don’t have to stress out about finding a job right away. It’s one less thing to worry about,” Shiley said.
PaYS opened to the Army National Guard as a pilot program in July 2019 and partners the Army with various corporations, companies and public sector agencies. These organizations then agree to provide job interviews and possible employment to active duty, National Guard and reserve soldiers, as well as ROTC cadets.
Capt. Jonathan Bourquin, commander of the U.S. Army Toledo Recruiting Company in Toledo, Ohio, said he considers it a great military recruiting tool.
“It’s win-win for both companies and military members because companies receive a steady stream of qualified candidates with leadership, maturity and technical experience, while military members receive a guaranteed interview with employers who value their service to country and skill training,” he said.
PaYS also shows potential applicants that the military is not only concerned about their position within the service, but “about setting them up for success” after their service is complete, according to Bourquin, who signed up for the program in 2011 as a University of Cincinnati Army ROTC cadet.
One of the newest companies to join the growing partner roster is Konecranes, a global company based out of Ohio with 17,000 employees worldwide. The company celebrated its partnership with PaYS during a signing ceremony on March 15.
Konecranes is a world-leading group of lifting products serving a broad range of customers, including manufacturing and process industries, shipyards, ports and terminals. It joins the PaYS partner ranks of 7-Eleven, 84 Lumber, Dell, the Indiana Department of Corrections and U-Haul International.
Kyle Edwards, a Konecranes recruiting manager, said he contacted the U.S. Army PaYS office directly at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to initiate the partnership. He knew about the program because, as a recruiter, he used PaYS to partner with businesses in the local area and help attract more recruits.
In his role as a recruiting manager, Edwards said he sees this as an opportunity for his company to provide jobs for service members transitioning from the Army into the civilian world.
“Konecranes offers amazing benefits, competitive pay and a culture I feel a veteran can thrive in when leaving the military,’ he said. “Most of our jobs are highly technical and require someone willing to work hard to get the job done.”