By John D. Wagner
63rd RRC PAO
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — The U.S. Army Reserve recently signed an agreement with Teamsters’ Joint Council 42, the Army National Guard, and nonprofit organization Helmets to Hardhats, during a ceremony here on Dec. 11, where all parties committed to helping Soldiers and veterans gain employment.
“We look forward to a tremendous partnership, with us making you a better employer, and you making us a better military,” said Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, chief of the Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command.
More than 20 California businesses also attended and made their pledge to hire veterans as well. President Randy Cammack, JC 42, signed on behalf of the union and the local employers.
The council is part of The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which has 1.4 million members worldwide. It is one of the largest labor unions in the world, and the most diverse union in the U.S.
This signing was the latest venture of the Employer Partnership Office, originated by Stultz in 2008, and was formerly called the Employer Partnership Initiative (EPI). The project involves the Army Reserve actively networking and signing agreements with businesses who agree to hire Army veterans, especially those with deployment experience.
Since it began, more than 800 employers have signed partnerships with the Army and National Guard.
“For us to be involved with the Army, it’s just tremendous to be able to do this,” said Cammack, while standing under a large banner that read: “Teamsters Support Our Troops.”
The partnerships help the civilian careers of the Soldiers, while offering businesses a disciplined, highly-trained workforce.
Firms represented at the ceremony included American Income Life Insurance, Caliburnus Enterprises, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc., Orange County Building Trades Council, Liberty Dental Plan, Newport Meat Co., and many others.
“It’s a national tragedy that veterans have a higher unemployment rate than non-veterans,” said Thomas Richards, president of Caliburnus, a disabled-veteran-owned firm that provides management and consultant services to businesses.
“This is a great program. It’s a good beginning. We need to recruit a lot more employers to get more veterans employed.”