The Bullseye - August 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

In This Issue:
Growing Industries for Soldiers,
Alumni Update,
Industry Spotlight: Homebuilding,
Congratulations to This Month's Winner,
Orion President Mike Starich Interviewed on Recent Job Gains in June,
Connect with Orion

Growing Industries for Soldiers

Orion President Mike Starich was interviewed in July’s issue of GX Magazine, the official magazine of the National Guard, on the growing industries most suited for soldiers looking to supplement their Guard service, or those transitioning from the military to the civilian job market. Among the top industries for former military: healthcare, information technology, logistics and supply chain management, and the energy sector all ranked high as well matched jobs for military members.

For these growing industries, the best option for those interested would be to keep an open mind, especially if it seems that the MOS doesn’t seem to offer the correct qualifications, or coincide with the career. “Healthcare companies will hire field technicians to maintain equipment, for example. We work with GE Healthcare. They will have teams of people that do the installations and repair of all medical equipment,” states Starich.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the healthcare industry offered the highest employment numbers in May 2012, responsible in part because of an aging baby boomer generation. This shift offers a bright future for employment in the healthcare industry.

Logistics and supply chain management, Starich explains, is another industry that military members shouldn’t overlook. The industry leans strongly on those with logistics and supply chain skills, Starich states. “The military fits really well into that. Retail companies supply food and beverage and products to stores. This also involves distribution networks for gasoline to retail stations.” Dr. Chris Bollinger, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and economics professor at the University of Kentucky, foresees a projected growth estimate at a 20 percent increase over the next 10 years in this industry.

The energy sector, which comprises of oil & gas, power generation, and alternative energy, all offer career opportunities well matched for military. In the oil & gas sector, “we see good hiring activity primarily in the south-central US, and in the Dakotas, primarily North Dakota,” Starich states. Types of job opportunities for military include roustabouts, equipment operators, well site leaders, maintenance technicians, refinery operations, and offshore positions. “Any type of equipment operator, someone who works on trucks or Humvees, anything in light mechanical, fits well,” Starich explains. “But then this also stretches to highly technical, electronics, repair people, electricians…also, your general infantryman with light mechanical skills has done very well with oil field service companies.”

Additionally, alternative energy is expected to see the biggest breakthrough in the upcoming year, especially in the Southwest, Midwest, and some regions of the Northeast, chiefly upstate New York. This sector is a great fit for military with light technical, electronic, or electrical skills. “There are wind schools throughout the United States, specifically training the technicians,” Starich states. “If you’re a degreed person, you can get hired with no experience for project sites, site supervisors, engineering.” For solar energy, positions are most available in the Southwest and Western region of the US. According to Starich, the solar energy sector is a lot less technical, compared to wind – “that technology is straightforward, whereas with wind, much more mechanical items are involved,” he explains. “The wind towers go three hundred feet into the air, and the voltage is much higher, so you need heavier safety protocols, which is why the military fits in well. Plus, environments are harsh and in remote locations…anyone with wartime experience fits in well in wind industries.”

Click here for full article.

Alumni Update

Matthew Heid

Process Engineer, LMI Packaging Solutions
US Army, Engineer Officer, Captain

To be honest, landing a job was the easiest part of my transition. At the Orion Hiring Conference I attended in February 2013, I had six interviews, with five being very interested in me. I had a voicemail with an offer from my future employer, LMI, when I got off the plane in Texas where I was stationed after the conference. According to my recruiter, I was the first candidate from that conference to accept an offer. The whole process went so fast and was easier than I thought.

I now work as a Process Engineer for a company that makes heat seal lidding for a variety of food products. My job is to standardize our processes at LMI, make our production facility run more efficiently, and cut down on waste and inefficiency. This position is newly created, so it’s fun that I can kind of define this job title for the company. My job in a few words is to save the company money wherever possible.

It’s been exciting to transition. My company is small (65 employees) and family owned, so everyone here is close knit. I enjoy the people I work with and am satisfied with the choice I made. I have a lot of responsibility, and my boss trusts me and gives me a lot of latitude to complete my projects. I am never told when to start/end work or how long my lunch is. The assumption is that, as a former Army Officer, I am responsible and will get the job done as quickly as possible. It’s great that I have a lot of freedom to maneuver and work without a lot of micromanagement. I also do PT during lunch which helps break up the day nicely!

Industry Spotlight: Homebuilding

With the Homebuilder Sentiment Index at its highest level since January 2006 due to low interest rates, improvement in employment and consumer confidence, and declining foreclosed and short-sale home inventories, many builders are finding that it’s time to plan for increased consumer demand by building the right team. And many are finding that building the right team means hiring veterans.

Major homebuilding companies have hired nearly 550 veterans through Orion International, the nation’s largest military recruiting firm. And these companies continuously find that veterans succeed in a variety of roles including:
  • Construction Managers
  • Customer Service
  • Estimators
  • Field Managers
  • Land Development/Acquisition
  • Leadership Development Programs
  • Project Engineers
  • Project Managers
  • Purchasing Managers
  • Sales
  • Superintendents
One of those veterans is James Bailey, a former Army First Lieutenant. During his time in the military, Bailey served in as a Cavalry Scout Troop Executive Officer, which entailed managing over 100 employees and 26 vehicles and associated equipment. He is now a Field Manager for Wayne Homes, a custom homebuilder. 
 “All the intangibles that I developed as a Army Cavalry Scout Troop Executive Officer will come into play in this new position.  Logistics, resourcing, relationship building, and accountability are the final four that I see connecting my previous experience with my new career,” explains Bailey, “Also, the military background prepared me by the constant coordination for major operations, anticipating the points of friction and verifying what needs to get done, does.
Specifically, veterans, particularly those that were in the Corps of Engineers or a Seabee in the Navy, with technical degrees, project management skills and leadership experience perform well as Project Engineers.  Many homebuilders draw on veterans’ ability to calculate statistical data, as well as use material price lists, cost per man hour, historical data and equipment costs to estimate projects and future developments by hiring them for Estimator roles. 
Veterans' strong leadership, excellent communication skills, and understanding of how to drive timelines, resources, and manpower make them excellent candidates for Superintendent roles. Finally, many homebuilders find that creating Leadership Development Programs helps them to attract, train, and retain military talent for their key leadership roles.
David Crowe, National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist, states "Builders are seeing more motivated buyers coming through their doors as the inventory of existing homes for sale continues to tighten. Meanwhile, as the infrastructure that supplies homebuilding returns, some previously sky-rocketing building material costs have begun to soften." Optimism like this coupled with expectations for single-family home sales for the next six months accelerating to 67 points from a revised 60 point to a bright future for veterans in home building.

Congratulations to this Month's Winner

Albert Wilson won the Job Seeker Referral monthly drawing

 and is the winner of a $50 gift card.  

Ready for your chance to win a $50 gift card? You’ll receive an entry into our monthly drawings for Client and Job Seeker referrals for each referral that you submit – good luck and thank you for the referral!

Orion President Mike Starich Interviewed on Recent Job Gains in June

Last month, Orion International President Mike Starich was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal in response to job gains in the US for the month of June.

The job market in June saw an addition of 195,000 jobs, mostly in the service industry, reported the Labor Department. The unemployment rate, however, has still held steady at 7.6 percent, according to an additional survey. Already this year, the US has added more than 200,000 jobs to the market, but it is still not significant enough to diminish to unemployment rate.

Mike Starich, President of Orion International, commented on the June job market findings, stating that while companies are cautious, they have been continually hiring with a more tactical plan. Because of companies’ hesitation, business has been somewhat flat this year, compared to the 10 percent year-over-year growth that Orion International typically sees, he stated. Yet hiring has been picking up in the most couple months, as June’s labor numbers reveal.

Orion’s biggest industry that has seen steady growth has been wind energy. Starich notes that while the alternative energy industry “really evaporated” in 2012, it is now “a lot healthier” this year, and Starich foresees continued expansion into 2014.

While June’s results are encouraging, the job market continues to grow at a sluggish pace, due to the severity of job losses a few years ago, when the unemployment rate increased to 10 percent. Yet June’s results remain positive – average hourly earnings for employers rose to $24.01, a 2.2 percent increase for a year ago.

Click here for full article.

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