ALBANY, N.Y. – The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) recently launched its new veteran attraction and retention arm, called the Veteran Connect Center (VCC).

At a kickoff event at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, CEG also announced that the VCC will be powered by JobPath software, the nation’s leading veteran employment platform for transitioning service members.

“After they answer the call of duty, we want transitioning service members around the world to hear the call of the Capital Region. Now, with the Veteran Connect Center, our region can make that call loud and clear,” said CEG Veteran Committee Chairman Michael Swezey, a New York National Guard retired brigadier general and a senior vice president for Merrill Lynch, in a press release. “In fact, we are already working with two military families who will moving here by the summer and another who is considering it.”

CEG Veteran Committee Vice Chairman Joshua Toas, a former Army Reserve captain and chief compliance officer and vice president of compliance for The Research Foundation for SUNY said the partnership with JobPath opens Capital Region employers to an untapped talent pool.

“When you combine that with the Veteran Connect Center’s concierge services for relocating military families, outreach to military transition offices across all branches and our enhanced online marketing of the region, we have a solid plan for ensuring veterans continue to play a vital role in the local economy and help it stand out on [a] global level,” he said in the release.

Justin Constantine, an Iraq War veteran and leading veteran employment expert, delivered the keynote address for the VCC’s launch. His presentation focused on the business case for hiring veterans and military spouses, dispelling myths around veterans in the workplace, how to successfully onboard veterans to increase retention and connecting with veterans through community collaboration.

While serving with the Marine Corps in Iraq in 2006, Constantine was shot in the head by a sniper, and was later awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

In addition to being a Presidential Leadership Scholar, he was named a Champion of Change for Veterans by President Obama, and is a recipient of the Lincoln Award for his outstanding achievement and excellence in providing opportunities and support to veterans and military families.

“What the VCC is implementing is a model for what so many other communities across our country can do. In the military we truly value leading from the front and also taking care of those around you, and that is exactly what VCC is doing,” Constantine said in the release.

TriCity Rentals/Massry Realty Partners are supporting the VCC’s license for JobPath. This software will give Capital Region employers access to the résumés of 200,000 transitioning service members and their spouses worldwide and enable them to do reverse searchers for applicants based on their Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) code.

Transitioning service members can also look for local jobs requiring their military skillsets. The following 10 local companies tested the JobPath software and many reported being impressed with its capabilities: GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Momentive Performance Materials, Transfinder, Stewarts Shops, Fusco Personnel, SUNY Research Foundation, Columbia Memorial Hospital and Pinnacle Human Resources.

“For many company recruiters, aligning private sector jobs to military occupational specialties has been a challenge,” said Mark German, director of staffing for GlobalFoundries Fab 8, in the release. “With the launch of JobPath, veterans will be able to conduct reverse searches by military occupational codes to find jobs that best match their skills, knowledge and abilities.

“This will be a very valuable tool for both employers and job seekers.”

CEG President and CEO Andrew Kennedy added, “Armed with JobPath, the Veteran Connect Center is now a powerful recruitment tool for Capital Region employers and a bright beacon for transitioning service members and their families looking for employment and educational opportunities after their military careers end,” said.

CEG’s goal for the VCC is to attract more transitioning service members and veterans from around the globe to the Capital Region and retain those already here by connecting them to local career, educational and community support services.

The VCC’s services will include marketing the Capital Region to transition service members worldwide and providing relocation assistance, serving as the first-point-of-contact for veterans already in the Capital Region and connecting them to the local career, educational and community services they need and training employers and educational institutions interested in employing or enrolling veterans on military culture to assist with attraction and retention.

The VCC will also host its first educational session on attracting, on-boarding and retaining veteran talent. This Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)-certified event is approved for two SHRM credits and will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on April 11 at the Desmond Hotel.

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