Advancing National Service

Can a Reverse Boot Camp Help Veterans Find Jobs?

June 19, 2014
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Can a Reverse Boot Camp Help Veterans Find Jobs?
Scott Olson/Getty Images
This program doesn't involve push-ups, marching, or standing at attention.

When veterans return from serving their country, it can be hard for them to figure out how to switch gears and transition into a new career.

Genesis10, a St. Paul-based technology and business consulting firm, is doing its part to help veterans go “from deployed to employed,” according to a motto on its website. Part of the process involves what they call a “reverse boot camp,” which helps former service members understand how a business mindset differs from the military one. One specific part of the training? Teaching soldiers “corporate speak,” which is different than how they talked in the military.

Katie Garske, a Genesis10 communications and social media manager told Elizabeth Millard of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal — which named the firm one of its Eureka! Award winners for innovative businesses in the Twin Cities — that lots of programs try to help vets find jobs, but “while well-intentioned, many of these efforts fail to make a significant impact on veteran unemployment, because each approach only partially addresses the issues that contribute to the overall problem.”

After finding there was a persistent demand for IT employees, Genesis10 hired Marine Corps veteran and reserve member Nick Swaggert in 2013 to run its veterans program. The company begins by evaluating prospective veteran employees to find out what their aptitudes and interests are. When it determines a vet would be a good fit for the IT or business sectors, Genesis10 welcomes him or her into its reverse boot camp, so they learn what the firm’s clients are looking for in an employee.

On Genesis10’s website, one veteran writes about his five-month frustrating search for a job that ended when he met a recruiter from Genesis10 looking for veterans with experience in GIS (aka Geographical Information Systems), a military specialization.

“Much of the messaging surrounding veteran unemployment has been ‘do it because it’s patriotic,'” Garske told Millard. “But veterans are not pity hires. Our clients are hiring them because it is a smart business decision.”

MORE: Does Military Jargon Prevent Vets from Landing Jobs?

 

 

 

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