Program aims to help veterans find jobs

By Pat Caldwell / For The Observer June 05, 2013 07:26 pm

Ricardo Gloria, Ontario, a member of the Oregon National Guardís Joint Transition Assistance Program, stands next to a H2H banner at an Ontario veteranís awareness event. Gloria said the H2H website furnishes an innovative and viable platform for veterans who seek employment. (Pat Caldwell/For The Observer)
Ricardo Gloria, Ontario, a member of the Oregon National Guardís Joint Transition Assistance Program, stands next to a H2H banner at an Ontario veteranís awareness event. Gloria said the H2H website furnishes an innovative and viable platform for veterans who seek employment. (Pat Caldwell/For The Observer)
 

ONTARIO — A distinctive online resource designed specifically to aid members of the Guard and Reserves to find employment is gaining momentum in Eastern Oregon and throughout the state, according to 
a regional veteran transition specialist.

Ontario’s Rick Gloria, a retired Oregon Army National Guard lieutenant colonel and a member of the Oregon Guard’s Joint Transition Assistance Program said the 

new website is intended to link qualified firms across the state with veterans.

The site, dubbed H2H, is just one of an array of veteran agendas the JTAP instituted since 2012, Gloria said.

“H2H is a cutting-edge program that uses modern technology and job fairs to link employers with qualified veterans,” he said.

Gloria oversees La Grande, Baker City and the Ontario area for the JTAP program. Early on, Gloria said the focus of JTAP was to assist citizen-soldiers transition from a combat deployment to civilian life. Now, though, JTAP’s current focus is on another important attribute to a successful reintegration for Guardsmen: finding a job. H2H is a key component to that effort, he said.

“Qualified veteran job seekers can build a profile on the site, post a resume or an application. At the same time, employers can search resumes by a key word, zip code or city,” he said.

The website is sponsored through the Department of Defense’s Yellow Ribbon Program and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, according to Craig Snitker. Snitker is the employment transition coordinator for Oregon and said the site is all about helping veterans.

“H2H gives the opportunity for service members to connect with military-friendly employers. The site is extremely easy for the job seeker and the employer to use. It is a
great instrument for bringing both parties together efficiently,” Snitker said.

For one area veteran and his family, H2H proved to be a solid resource. Richard Standley and his wife, Linda, recently left service in the active duty Army and moved to Ontario. Standley spent the past five years as a full-time solider and deployed overseas four times. The deployment schedule was a chief reason he said he wished to get back into civilian life. After he moved to Ontario, Standley said he jumped right into search for a job.

Linda Standley said her husband spent a lot of time looking for work but did not start to find success until he learned about H2H and signed up. 

“H2H is an awesome program. Helped us create a resume and it is easily accessible,” Linda Standley said.

Richard Standley said he is still searching for a job. However, he said, by using H2H he can cast a far wider net regarding potential employment opportunities. 

While Gloria concedes the veteran piece of the new site is critical, he pointed out that employers also benefit from H2H.

“Employers get exposure. But we need more employers to enroll,” he said.

Gloria said the new site is a bridge between job fairs, federal-level eagerness to help post-9/11 veterans secure employment and the Guard. He said the site allows interested firms to broaden their horizons
in terms of qualified
applicants. 

“They (companies) can post as many jobs as they want. And, best of all, there is no cost for them to do that,” Gloria said.

Employment initiatives for veterans are in the news at the federal level because of a program kicked off by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, Ph.D., wife of Vice-President Joe Biden. Their program, called Joining Forces, started in June 2011 as a way to rally support from across America to help veterans and military spouses find employment.

President Barack Obama also challenged American firms to hire 100,000 jobless veterans by 2013. At least one major American firm — Wal-Mart — pledged to hire any honorably discharged veteran within their first 12 months off active duty in the wake of the President’s call.

Closer to home, Gloria said the effort to ensure that area Guard units remain ready is connected to how many citizen-soldiers are employed.

“We are trying to improve readiness by having an employed soldier. An employed Guardsman is, typically, a happy Guardsman. Which in turn means his or her family is better off as well,” he said.

Gloria said H2H simplifies what can be a lengthy and time-consuming job search process.

“It (H2H) is streamlined for a straighter job landing,” he said.

To find out more about H2H, contact Gloria at

503- 269-3216 or go online to https://h2h.jobs/