USAA members will now have access to the advanced capabilities of IBM Watson technology to assist in transitioning out of military service! USAA is the first to commercialize the use of Watson as a consumer-facing application.
Eric Engquist, Assistant Vice President, Military Transitions at USAA, said “We understand the unique challenges our members face during the transition from military to civilian life. Members often tell us they’re not sure where to start or what questions to ask. Our hope is that Watson can help alleviate some of that apprehension and confusion by giving transitioning military members a place to start and help along the way.”
USAA is offering IBM’s Watson Engagement Advisor in a pilot to help serve military men and women as they transition from military to civilian life. By accessing Watson, USAA members will be able to ask questions related to the transition experience. IBM Watson analyzed and understands more than 3,000 documents on topics exclusive to military transitions, enabling members to ask and receive answers to separation-related questions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 155,000 active military members transition to civilian life each year. Like any career change, moving from a military to a civilian career presents challenges to members and their families. During this initial phase, transitioning military members can visit usaa.com or use a mobile browser to “Ask Watson” questions specific to leaving the military, such as “Can I be in the reserve and collect veterans compensation benefits?” or “How do I make the most of the Post-9/11 GI Bill?” As a result, Watson combs through volumes of USAA’s business data providing answers to member’s inquiries with confidence while gaining value and experience over time.
Some great news on the employment front – let’s hope this program is replicated in other states, too, if it’s successful!
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of $3,444,620 to the commonwealth of Virginia to identify promising practices and to explore, develop and test strategies to improve the employment outcomes of veterans. The initiative is part of the Obama administration’s ongoing focus on job-driven training principles that encourage innovation and creativity in developing effective re-employment strategies to help the unemployed return to the workforce.
The commonwealth of Virginia is experiencing a record number of military personnel transitioning from active military duty into the civilian workforce, with the number of veterans seeking assistance at American Job Centers throughout Virginia doubling in recent years. While there are numerous programs and services designed to assist veterans and their families, the funding announced today will enhance coordination and alignment of these services.
Virginia’s Community Colleges system, in partnership with the Virginia Employment Commission, will use the funds to:
- design and implement a bridge between transitioning military personnel and employers who have veteran-compatible employment opportunities;
- create and validate a process to align veterans’ Military Occupational Specialties across Virginia’s Community Colleges system;
- develop statewide industry-sector strategies in high-growth occupations and identify and link veterans to those jobs; and
- perform a comprehensive assessment to identify gaps in services and develop recommendations to fill those gaps.
Veterans interested in obtaining employment services are encouraged to visit their local American Job Center.
When it comes to transitioning from a military to civilian workforce, there is no other organization that better prepares you than MOAA! Check out the transition services offered through the Career Kickstart program!
At the anniversary celebration of Joining Forces, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announced the launch of a new integrated employment tool to connect veterans and service members with employers, and to help translate military skills into the civilian workforce.
The new online resource, called the Veterans Employment Center, is the first interagency tool to bring a wealth of public and private job opportunities, a resume-builder, military skills translator and detailed career and training resources together in one place.
The Veterans Employment Center will provide employers with access to a targeted pool of resumes from veterans and transitioning service members, allowing them to search resumes to identify veterans with skill sets applicable to civilian employment at their organization, and to track progress towards reaching their veteran hiring goals. Resumes are visible to all employers with an active LinkedIn or Google profile.
The Veterans Employment Center can be found at: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs
Tutorial video on how to use the Veterans Employment Center:
Additional MOAA resources for transition and job search:
MOAA is dedicated to helping servicemembers and their families during their transition from military to civilian life.
The new MOAA Transitions video series looks at five different servicemembers, all dealing with their transition in very different ways.
August 1, 2013 marked the retirement date of Lt. Cmdr. Ohene Gyapong, USN (Ret). Ohene talks about the looming deadline, the stresses of transitioning, and what it means to leave the Navy:
Learn from peers going through the process of transitioning to the civilian world, or from those who have already done so in the MOAA Transitions video series.
MOAA also provides additional resources to help aid in career transition, including:
Visit www.moaa.org/career to see what else MOAA has to offer!
Our friends at the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, received 2,864 nominations from Guardsmen and Reservists for the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award!
The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s highest recognition honoring employers that support employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. Up to 15 award recipients will be announced this summer and honored at the Pentagon in September at the 19th annual Freedom Award ceremony.
Even with troop drawdowns, service members are frequently called to duty to protect our Nation’s security and support humanitarian relief missions. Service members rely on the support of civilian employers, who provide reassurance and stability for these Citizen Warriors and their loved ones. The Freedom Award honors those employers who not only safeguard the positions of their military employees while they perform military duty or are deployed, but establish exceptional and generous initiatives that accommodate and care for employees and their families.
Last year, recipients met with President Barack Obama, who praised them for the exceptional support provided to their Guard and Reserve employees. Recipients also met with senior Defense Department leaders as part of the award recognition.
This year’s nominees represent employers large and small from nearly every industry, including airlines, grocery store chains, national retail brands and IT companies, as well as small businesses, and state and local governments. ESGR received nominations from Guard and Reserve members in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. Semifinalists will be announced later this spring. To see the complete list of nominees, please visit www.FreedomAward.mil.