LACONIA — Members of the New Hampshire Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves were out in force recently at the Laconia Job Fair, sponsored by the NH Employment Security.
The task was to assist Guardsmen, Reservists and veterans find employment with companies catering to military members.
More than 300 perspective employees, many who served in the military, stopped by the fair at the Belknap Mall to visit with 39 participating employers.
One such attendee was Sgt. Padriac Weller, a member of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion 25th Marines, USMC Reserves headquartered in Londonderry.
Weller has been a member of the Reserves for the past six years and although employed, he said "it's good to keep all options open."
Weller deployed in 2011 to Delaran, Afghanistan.
The challenges of serving in the Reserves, managing a civilian career and fulfilling family commitments are demanding in the best of circumstances but if deployment is in the mix, they becomes almost overwhelming.
Many Guard members and Reservists are either unemployed or under-employed.
This can be a huge readiness issue for commanders who must prepare the soldiers, Marines, sailors and airman to execute domestic and war-fighting missions at home and abroad.
This is where NHESGR and NHES can help.
New Hampshire Employment Security will host 25 job fairs across the state this year alone.
While the job fairs are open to anybody, veterans and currently serving members of the Reserve Components will receive special attention from the NHESGR representative and many of the companies participating.
In 2012, the Department of Defense-Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves hired A-Teams Solutions to place Employment Transition Coordinators in all 54 states and territories.
Their mission is to assist RC service members and families with employment issues in general, but specifically to help those who are either unemployed or under-employed find solid, viable and long-term jobs.
The Employment Transition coordinator for New Hampshire is John Willbarger, who retired from the USMC in 2005.
His 22-year career in the USMC combined with his years of experience working as a Veteran Employer Outreach Representative at NHES, make him an invaluable asset linking servicemen and women to military-friendly organizations.
Willbarger echoed the sentiment expressed by executive director of NHESGR Ronald G. Young, who said ''the Guard and Reserve members make great employees. They're strong leaders and outstanding followers, exhibiting loyalty, dedication and motivation to their missions. They demonstrate other attributes that employers are clamoring for, such as professionalism, responsibility, punctuality, a 'can-do' attitude, understanding of diversity and an ability to remain calm under pressure."
While the ETCs primary role is to work with actively serving RC members and their families, any veteran or their family members may contact Willbarger for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by calling his office at 227-1485.
Visit www.nhesgr.com for more information about the NHESGR.
Information about upcoming NHES Job Fairs and employment programs can be found at www.nhes.nh.gov/media/job-fairs/index.htm.