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January 6, 2013

Oklahoma National Guard has program to help service members to find jobs

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma National Guard started a new program in 2012 to help Servicemembers with employment. The Employment Coordination Program  serves as a liaison between guard members looking for work and prospective employers, allowing Guardsmen a better opportunity for employment.

Soldiers and Airmen may use the program to prepare resumes, work on interview techniques and locate and apply for jobs.

Sgt. Andy Workman, of Tecumseh found his job at Dell as an enterprise server technician through the ECP. Workman deployed with the 1st Battalion, 160th Field Artillery, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. In 2011, when he returned to Oklahoma, he had trouble finding a job.

Jennifer Mackey, ECP Coordinator, helps Servicemembers polish their resumes and interview techniques. But her job goes beyond these obvious tasks to such things as prequalifying candidates for a specific job before sending their information to the prospective employer.

“There were two jobs at Dell Jennifer suggested, one was enterprise and one was client,” Workman said. “Looking at my background, Jennifer and I decided enterprise was more suited for my skill level.”

Workman’s information passed directly from the ECP to Dell’s HR Department. A week later, he interviewed with Bruce Theinert, Dell’s manager in service support.

Theinert said 20 percent of Dell’s 100,000 employee workforce are veterans. Dell’s Oklahoma City facility surpasses the overall average at nearly 23 percent.

“We’re looking for strong people,” Theinert said. “We found that veterans are good at understanding how to get a job done.”

Theinert said he works with the ECP because it provides a more direct line of communication between the Soldier or Airmen and his office.

“We’re asking the Oklahoma National Guard to send us the resumes directly,” Theinert said. “That way, we’re guaranteed to at least look at the guardsman’s information instead of it being a line item in a piece of software.”

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