Two Military Transition Programs Honored By SHRM

Garden State SHRMThe New Jersey SHRM council and eight other state HR groups have been honored for their innovative programs addressing local workforce challenges.

The Garden State (NJ) Council won a Pinnacle Award from the Society for Human Resource Management for its military career transition program. Developed in cooperation with Tip of the Arrow and officials at New Jersey’s Ft. Dix, the program is aimed at helping returning Iraq war veterans translate their military training and experience into the language of civilian recruiters.

SHRM logoERE wrote about the Ultimate Warrior Career Workshops and Job Fair in August. Some 500 military soon-to-be discharged personnel attended the workshops where volunteer recruiters worked with them in groups and one-on-one, in sessions covering everything from writing a resume to preparing an elevator speech.

As the announcement of the award notes:

“More than a provider of “feel good” moments, the program’s goal is to share expert HR knowledge and insights about job searching and interviewing by delivering a broad scope of information and one-on-one attention for each service member.”

Sherrill Curtis, an organizer of the program, said in an email after the awards were announced that the program in New Jersey is growing, with colleges and universities signing on, as well as expanding with more volunteer HR coaches.

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“With a local SHRM chapter in Indiana also winning for their similar program,” Curtis wrote, “we are well on our way with SHRM national support for drawing in volunteer HR professionals as career coaches from across the U.S.”

The second military oriented program to be recognized was organized by the Evansville (Indiana)-Area Human Resource Association in cooperation with the Indiana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Besides offering career counseling and connecting employers and transitioning military directly through referrals and job postings, the Evansville-Area SHRM affiliate asked its member employers to list the certifications they require for various jobs. In turn, the military in the area is now offering opportunities for its personnel to earn those specific certifications.

SHRM also recognized programs to retain young workers in New Orleans; a Texas career fair specifically for workers with criminal records; a telethon-like seven-hour TV broadcast by two chapters in North Carolina that provided on-air counseling and assistance to about 1,100 callers; a job interview training program for high school seniors in Pennsylvania; a job counseling program for single-parent women and families receiving public assistance in New Mexico; a “Workforce Readiness Toolkit” for individual job seekers and employers in New Hampshire, and a SHRM chapter leadership preparation and training program.

More details on each of these programs and the Pinnacle Awards are available here.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.