Military reserve members find it very difficult to acquire employment these days. Studies have found that the unemployment rate for reservists in California has hit 20 percent recently, according to The Modesto Bee. There are 85,000 reservists in the state.
California has created the Work for Warriors initiative two years ago to help part-time members of the military to find jobs.
“We’re reaching out to all reserve unit members, and we are absolutely focused on helping them get jobs,” explained Sgt. Jason Cameron, a Work for Warriors resource manager.
Cameron was training reservists on Thursday in Modesto on how to work as security guards. The program was free and involved 15 people.
Cameron noted that most security guard jobs pay just $12 per hour, but they are a step in the right direction for military members who want to work in law enforcement.
“Security guards learn how to deal with the public, write reports, prevent potential crimes and de-escalate situations,” Cameron explained.
Jose Perez, a detective with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, agreed with Cameron. “Security guards often work hand-in-hand with police, and they often are the first to make contact with the public.”
Perez was in attendance for the event on Thursday to speak with the attendees about the Sheriff’s Department, which wants to hire anywhere from eight to10 patrol deputies as well as 42 custodial officers for the county jails.
“We pull a lot of our hires from the military,” said Perez.
Evan Miller, a California National Guardsman, said that finding a secure job is very difficult. He uses Work for Warriors to help him find a job.
“I want something more stable and full time now,” said Miller.
Cameron’s mission is convincing employers to see what reservists bring to the table.
“Hiring a veteran is great, but hiring a reservist is even better because we still have our thumb on them,” Cameron explained.
“You should see the resumes (the reservists) send me. No civilian employer would know what they’re saying,” Cameron said. Because of this, many reservists do not even get interviewed for open jobs. “They get weeded out because they didn’t use the proper verbiage to describe their skills and experience.”
One-on-one counseling is provided by Work for Warriors either by phone or email so reservists can edit and strengthen their resumes.
One example from Cameron is: “Instead of saying you’re a squad leader, say you’re a supervisor on your résumé because that’s what you do. We know how to verbally describe their military skills in ways that are recognizable to employers. We help them put their best foot forward.”Reservists Offered Employment Help by Work for Warriors by Jim Vassallo