I recently had the privilege of attending the Joint Employer Event at the Mansfield Air National Guard Base in Mansfield, Ohio.
Representatives from Ohio companies who employ veterans were invited to spend the day with the members of the Ohio National Guard in order to better understand the commitments they make to their careers, and the challenges they face in the job market.
There were approximately 50 employers represented; many brought their service member employees with them. After a brief overview and video, we were transported on a bus to another area of the base where we got to mingle with members of the Red Horse squadron. (A side note: The Red Horse squadrons – an acronym for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers – are self-sustaining engineering and construction units that provide support for other military units worldwide.)
We were offered rides on various military vehicles, including a Humvee, and were given an opportunity to chat with some of the service members. Later, we watched demonstrations of some of the tactical equipment and listened to a presentation about the Red Horse squadrons. The day culminated with a ride in a Chinook helicopter!
We were given a packet of information on recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans, along with an invitation to join the Ohio National Guard Employer Advisory Council.
According to Lt. Col. Kathryn Lowrey, director of community outreach for the Ohio National Guard (ONG), these events are held twice a year, rotating between different locations in Ohio. They typically draw between 50-60 employers.
“These events are very well received by the employers,” Lowrey explained. “They very much appreciate learning about our organization and having special time with their military employees. It transforms the relationship between the employer and employee.”
Military veterans face employment challenges, due to the fact that many get called away from their jobs for active duty. Depending on the particular type of work they do, it can also be challenging for employers to hold their jobs; especially when service members might get called away for long periods of time.
Lowrey said the Joint Employer Events aim to educate employers on how to accommodate this inconvenience. “The Employer Advisory Council focuses on retention activities so employers can understand more fully how to help service members be more successful in their careers,” she added.
For more information about the Ohio National Guard Employer Advisory Council, please contact the community outreach office at (614) 336-7002. This forum is open to all military-friendly employers interested in learning more about recruitment and retention of military employees. Visit the Ohio National Guard website to learn more.
To watch the rest of the videos, check out my playlist on YouTube.