Job Connection Education Program

Tennessee Guard Jobs Program Crosses 3,000th Hire Mark

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Maj. Gen. Max Haston, Tennessee's Adjutant General, today recognized Dollar General Vice President of Government Affairs Steve Brophy and Dollar General for hiring Spc. Josh DeRoisa as the 3, 000th hire through the Job Connection Education Program or (JCEP). DeRoisa's employment represents yet another milestone in the nearly four year old business partnership program assisting Tennessee National Guard members and their families in finding jobs across the state.

Joining Maj. Gen. Haston at today's event were Burns Phillips, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development; Melinda Kelsey, Communications, Constituent and Government Relations Administrator, and Jann Dower, Director of Constituent Service, both with Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Also in attendance were Capt. Michael Riley, Section Chief of the Army National Guard Transition Services and Employment Outreach, National Guard Bureau and Dinetha Thompson, the National JCEP Program Manager.

"Today we recognize an initiative that only a short time ago was in its infancy and now, just over three years later, has contributed to the hiring of over 3, 100 National Guard members and family members in the Tennessee National Guard resulting in over $105 million in salaries!" said Haston.

While jobs and salaries are critical, Haston went on to say, "more importantly, the program has provided the security and stability we all need that comes from having a good job and career."

JCEP helps Guard and Reserve service members, and their spouses, who are unemployed or under-employed, to find careers. The program, which is offered by the Army National Guard, provides dedicated training and development specialists and a skilled business advisor to assist participants in making their job connections.

"Our veterans have a proven ability for success in the workplace" and "the one statement I hear the most from business leaders is that hiring veterans just makes sense, " said retired Tennessee National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Bill Marley, who administers the JCEP Program for Tennessee.

"I was looking for a career, not just a job, and Dollar General evaluated my total military experience to do the job-now I'm a manager, " said DeRoisa, who also serves as a member of the 1st Airfield Operations Battalion, 107th Aviation Regiment in Tullahoma.

"The strength of our program is built on the partnerships we have throughout the state with both government and business leaders like Labor and Workforce Development and Dollar General, " stated Marley. "They understand that the hiring of our Soldiers and Airmen is not just a "feel good" initiative but rather a sound business decision that contributes to the bottom line of their organization."

Haston went on to praise Commissioner Phillips and Dollar General for their efforts in support of Paychecks for Patriots, another initiative that puts veterans back to work across the state. Occurring normally in the fall, this year the Paychecks for Patriots event will be held on October 1 across the state at various locations.

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