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Non-Profits Join Forces to Help Transitioning Marines Find Jobs In San Diego’s Top Priority Industries

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New Veterans Center Will be Testing Ground for Bold Transition Concept

Unfilled Gaps In The System

Veteran service members continue to face a number of reintegration challenges when returning home, including physiological and behavioral disorders, broken identity, cultural gaps between military and civilian life, limited professional and social networks, lack of civilian work experience, translating military experience into civilian job skills, and veteran suicide.

While the newly launched Transition GPS program is an outstanding improvement upon the former TAP program, however, in its present state it is a singular solution to the transition process and it is imperative to avoid a “one size fits all” mindset. Reports indicate that 80% of the transitioning service members are uncertain about their next career which perhaps explains why 53% of 200,000 (106,000) leaving the service annually go on 22 weeks of unemployment insurance costing taxpayers close to $2 Billion annually and leaving many employers desperate for this huge resource of talent.

As a result, many stakeholders are seeking an alternative solution to this urgent issue.

A Solution to Close the Gap is Needed.

To fill this need, Boeing turned to two non-profits known for their evidence-based approach to veteran success; NVTSI’s REBOOT Workshopsand Easter Seals of San Diego (Military & Veterans Services) placement.

After nearly five years of operation and over 1200 graduates REBOOT has become the premier transition program in the country that effectively addresses the personal, social, and professional needs of the transitioning service members. Independently evaluated by the University of San Diego, the workshops maintained a 97% success rate in transitioning service members and veterans through its three-week behavior based curriculum.

“As a result of our success with the workshops we are launching; Operation REBOOTAn Initiative to Reboot the Lives & Careers of Local Transitioning Service Members and Veterans and Promote Employment in San Diego’s Priority Sectors.” Maurice Wilson, MCPO, USN (Ret) President/Executive Director – REBOOT

By focusing on and resolving the key reintegration issues of veterans and the challenges employers face trying to hire them, OR will orchestrate a predictable talent pipeline from military service to employment in priority sectors through a coordinated effort between veteran service organizations (VOS’s).

Easter Seals Southern California (ESSC) is an affiliate of the national Easter Seals organization, which has provided services to people with disabilities and their families since 1919, including veterans since the end of World War II. Drawing upon this vast experience, ESSC launched WorkFirst, Military & Veterans Services in January 2014 for service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with ever more complex injuries and needs. The program incorporates Customized Employment support, informational interviewing, social networking, connections with employers, community resource linkage, small business development and follow-on services to ensure job mastery and long-term employment/business success. Staff members are all veterans who know, first-hand, the challenges facing the target population. Staff members work individually with each veteran, at locations convenient for the veteran, and assist the veteran in an evidence-based discovery process to define the veteran’s passions, goals, skills and talents and how each veteran defines meaningful employment for themselves.

Currently operating in the San Diego area, the program has strong metrics. Among the 212 service members and military spouses who have received support to date, over 69% of the 166 individuals who sought employment assistance have thus far secured jobs and achieved successful outcomes, with salaries ranging from $22,000 to $140,000 in various fields. Other participants are actively engaged in training leading to meaningful employment in high-growth fields, full time education or full time volunteer work. The time between initial client assessment and client job offer is approximately 65 days. To date, the job retention rate is 100%.

Collective Impact – Community Partners

A History of collaboration:

For the past year REBOOT and WorkFirst Military & Veterans Services (MVS) have worked together coordinating the transition support for 21 veterans. After completing the REBOOT Workshops™, these veterans were directly referred to the WorkFirst MVS team for one-on-one employment support. While several veterans remain in the process of seeking employment, 12 have achieved meaningful employment and 3 are pursuing full time education goals for a success rate of 71% to date.

“It takes a village to raise a child” African Proverb

In partnership with Easter Seals of San Diego (WorkFirst Military & Veterans Services), Operation REBOOT will start by REBOOTing and re-classifying transitioning service members/veterans. Upon completion of the three-week workshop veterans will be directly referred to the Workforce MVS team for one-on-one employment support which includes; matching them with jobs in high job growth industry sectors, coordinating job training, and placing them with local businesses. Additionally, the REBOOT team will maintain ongoing follow-up and both organizations will ensure that participants receive any needed supportive services.

The goal of this project is to REBOOT and PLACE 20 cohorts preferably in one of the five top industry sectors in San Diego between July and December, 2015 and provide ongoing support. The cost will be $2500 per military/veteran ($50,000) split between the two agencies.

Transitioning will take place in a soon to be opened Military and Veterans Resource Center that will be located in Escondido. Hosted by the County of San Diego, this new center will feature multiple veterans’ service providers providing wrap-around services to military and veterans in North County.

REBOOT will have a dedicated classroom to conduct REBOOT WorkshopsTM as well as computer resource rooms for job searching and private interview rooms for MVS to conduct one-on-one coaching.

The overall goal of the program is provide job training services and placement assistance to 300 veterans and transitioning Marines (annually) from Camp Pendleton.

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