The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce has launched a new program to connect job seekers exiting the military and employers trying to fill many of the high-skilled jobs available across the county.
The Warrior Workforce Initiative seeks to recruit from the large pool of service men and women who will be exiting the military in the next 12 to 18 months. The program will build awareness for both military job seekers and hiring employers about the advantages of connecting the two.
“Veterans possess many skills and attributes that are extremely valuable to private sector employers,” said Beth Duffield, vice president of workforce development at the Rutherford County Chamber. “Our employers want to hire individuals with leadership and team-building skills, strong work ethic and initiative, the ability to work in a team and strong technical skills. Many of the high tech skill sets learned during their service to our country translate very nicely into the advanced manufacturing, logistics and warehousing and IT fields.”
On the job seeker side, the Initiative will promote Rutherford County’s affordable cost of living, strong public school system, available higher education opportunities, access to the Alvin C. York Medical Center and Arnold Air Force Base, and the number of nonprofits in the area that provide support to veterans and their families.
Matthew O’Dell, a veteran and owner of Reveille Joe Coffee Co., moved to Rutherford County in 2011, for many of these reasons.
"For me, Murfreesboro hasn't always been home, but after seeing the possibilities for personal, family, and business growth that Rutherford County had to offer, I realized that I wanted to start the rest of my life here,” said O’Dell. “Both the civilian and veteran’s communities are extremely welcoming and eager to see young people succeed in their new lives. I am glad that Rutherford County is my new home and the headquarters for Reveille Joe Coffee Co. and hope that other veterans will realize the potential and numerous opportunities that are waiting for them here."
The Chamber developed a tool kit to help local employers navigate the sometimes challenging recruiting process by working with a team of retired veterans, county government officials, industry leaders and educational providers.
The team is working with Fort Campbell leadership. The Ft. Campbell Army Career and Alumni Program website can be viewed at: http://www.campbell.army.mil/campbell/directorates/DHR/Pages/ACAP.aspx.
Companies are also encouraged to attend the career fair, scheduled for April 10, in Clarksville. “It would be great to have a strong contingency of Rutherford County companies represented,” said Duffield. “We want these men and women to understand the great things we have to offer in our community.”
The Chamber hopes to extend the reach of this initiative to other military installations in the southeast in coming months and is developing plans to help those retired military personnel already living in Rutherford County to connect with employers and educational providers.
Katy Francisco Riddle, Director of Communications and Marketing - Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce