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Progress In Employing National Guard Members

Brandi Covington fills out a job application while sitting at a coffee shop near her home. She's been looking for work for more than six months.



Major Fritz Roggow is the program's Deputy Director. He says the program acts as a free head-hunter, which improves a service member's chances of finding work compared to traditional methods.

"The challenge is going to - a lot of the time - the hiring fairs and job fairs. Sometimes," he says, "we find that it's not as effective as having that direct model where you're actually dealing directly with service members finding out exactly what's important to them."

In the program's year-and-a-half, the Guard has helped 1,700 service members find jobs.

Specialist Skylar Stephenson works one weekend a month for the Guard; and full-time as a temporary employee making computer chips for a company in Roseville. 

1111 cal guard job 2 

"Most job agencies find you a job and they just leave you. These guys, they're pretty cool. I wouldn't even call them a job agency. I get phone calls every week, 'Hey, how you doing at work?  You doing good?  I have this, this. These might be something where you can go promote yourself maybe make a little bit more money.'" - Skylar Stephenson, National Guard Specialist

The Guard has partnered with 180 businesses and considers employment an important part of recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

"Working really closely with the companies," says Major Roggow. "Finding out what they're trying to hire, skills, attributes, education, certifications that they're looking for, matching those with those service members, then helping them out with their resumes, interview prep and placing them directly with the companies." 

The program focuses on teaching a job candidate how to turn military experience into a full-time private sector job

Brandi Covington served in the guard's military police for seven years. A local security company just hired her in an on-call capacity. She says the Guard continues to help her find a job with more reliable hours.

"I'm still looking for work. I'm still online looking and I'm still walking in places, checking up on places -seeing what they thought about my resume, or if they even may want to hire me on." - Brandi Covington, former National Guard M.P.

Though the Guard is pleased with the progress of the program so far, Guard members who have gone through Work for Warriors will soon be surveyed to see how it could be improved. 





Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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