CUMBERLAND â€” A local company is doing its part to help veterans returning from war get back to work in the civilian job force.
Cumberland-based Jobless Warrior, a new online career enhancing service for veterans, announced this week its official nationwide launch of the service. Veterans across the country can now visit www.joblesswarrior.org to request free resume help, connect with a career coach, join a job networking group, and much more.
"Our mission is simple - end unemployment and underemployment for our heroic warriors by enhancing their job search effectiveness via one-on-one, professional support and other essential resources," says founder JR Rodrigues, a 14-year resident of Cumberland, who is self-employed in the high-tech sales and marketing field.
"There are many great governmental and non-profit organizations already providing job assistance to veterans, and we applaud them for their efforts," he said. "We are confident that there is an additional, untapped reservoir of goodwill throughout the country that will help us to augment existing programs for our heroic Jobless Warriors."
Jobless Warrior is a free service that matches military veterans with career enhancement professionals such as coaches, resume writers, job networking groups, and others who have the skills, knowledge, and resources to assist them in navigating today's difficult job search market. The program aims to assist today's veterans in launching a new, successful career with private industry organizations.
"The unique aspect of Jobless Warrior is that we not only show our veterans that the jobs are out there, but we connect them with career professionals for one-on-one coaching and support so they can obtain these jobs," says Rodrigues, founder and chief sales officer at JMR Group Inc. in Boston. "Everyone needs a solid career search strategy, and people often pay large sums of money for career search services. Jobless Warrior is proud to offer these professional services to our heroes for free."
It's a service, Rodrigues said, that is critical in light of recent statistics.
Nearly 30 percent of male veterans ages 18 to 24 were out of work last year, compared with a 17.6 percent rate among civilian peers, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Tuesday. Unemployment last year was 12 percent for men who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, compared with 9.3 percent among civilian males.
Women were even worse off with 36 percent of young female veterans jobless in 2011, compared with a 14.5 percent rate among young women 18 to 24.
President Obama has launched an initiative for hiring veterans, which includes tax credits for employers, corporate hiring pledges, job fairs and new initiatives by the Pentagon and Departments of Veterans Affairs and Labor to help former servicemembers prepare for and find work.
Rodrigues says Jobless Warrior has more than 100 volunteer career professionals registered to provide pro bono, job preparation services to veterans. These providers stand ready to help veterans to decode and translate their military skills, experience, and training into terms easily understood by the civilian employer, a winning situation for both the veterans and the employer who gains a top-notch, valuable veteran employee for their team.
"We want to help all of our veterans get the careers and piece of the American dream that they deserve," he says. "I am eager to watch Jobless Warrior help build that dream for our heroes."
To be connected with a career service professional, veterans can visit www.joblesswarrior.org today to create a request for assistance. Veteran requests will be reviewed, and the requestors will be soon matched with a provider who can assist them in their career search.
To learn more about Jobless Warrior, visit the organization website at www.joblesswarrior.org . Volunteer recruitment is ongoing, and the organization is readily recruiting additional career service professionals and other service providers to join them in the quest to mitigate joblessness among today's veterans.