Programs in Iowa partner to connect employers with military

By JAKE WADDINGHAM | The Creston (Iowa) News Advertiser | Published: October 19, 2013

CRESTON, Iowa — A program to help local businesses connect with active members of the National Guard and Reserves, as well as veterans, is slated for Nov. 22 in Creston.

Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) partnered with Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) Region 14 for an interactive, two-hour program at The Pizza Ranch.

“We support employing our veterans,” said IWD representative Elizabeth Waigand. “We want to have veteran-friendly businesses to help the veterans coming home. ESGR helps make those connections.”

The event will highlight how to understand a resumé that uses military language, how to connect with active military employees and veterans, how ESGR can help employers and it will give important details of the laws that protect active military and veterans.

“It’s all the pieces that employers need to know so they don’t discriminate military personnel,” said Becky Coady, a program support technician with ESGR.

Coady said some employers do not understand the specific skill sets learned by individuals who serve because it is described by their rank on their resumé. ESGR helps explain the leadership skills and experience gained during the members time with the Guard and Reserve.

“This is a proactive workshop,” Waigand said. “I believe a majority of our employers support hiring because of their work ethic and leadership skills.”

IWF Region 14 covers eight counties — Adams, Adair, Clarke, Ringgold, Taylor, Montgomery, Union and Decatur. Coady said the workshop typically draws about 20 to 30 representatives from different employers. She added the small size helps make the program more engaging and allows time for any questions to be addressed.

Waigand said IWF tries to bring the workshop to the region every year, but because it is a large region, they try to move the host site to different counties each year.

ESGR is a resource funded through the Department of Defense, so there is no additional cost for the region or local businesses to host or attend the event.

“We like to have the room as full as possible,” Coady said. “There is a lot to cover.”


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