The Bullseye - December 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

In This Issue:
Orion President Mike Starich Interviewed for The Street,
Free Project Management Training and Career Transition Support for Veterans and Spouses in Washington, D.C.,
Alumni Update,
Veterans are Positioned for Success with Phillips 66,
Congratulations to this Month's Winner,
Orion President Mike Starich Interviewed on Bloomberg Radio,
Connect with Orion

Orion President Mike Starich Interviewed for The Street

This month, Orion International President Mike Starich was interviewed for The Street on the rise of the job market in October, which saw an increase of 204,000 jobs, according to a recent US Department of Labor report.

This increase comes as a surprise to many economists, who believed that the government shutdown could have a delayed effect on the job market.

Orion President Mike Starich credited the trends in the hiring process as the reason for the employment increase. August and the first half of September were strong interview months, which were followed by hires in October, revealing a gap between the interviews and the start date of employees, creating a lot of hiring activity in October.

“All the folks that we had in the interview pipelines, everything started to change [as October approached],” stated Starich. “Everything just sort of iced over, and now it’s releasing ever since the [debt ceiling] was resolved – the ice is breaking.”

The economy is moving slowly, and the labor market won’t be fully recovered until most likely next year, according to Shang-Kin Wei, director of the Chazen Institute of Business at the Columbia University Business School.

The positive October jobs report is an early sign of what is to come, revealing that a full economic recovery will be a slow and steady process.

Free Project Management Training and Career Transition Support for Veterans and Spouses in Washington, D.C.

Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services at Easter Seals, Orion International, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and Efiia Cares are committed to supporting veterans and military families. We are pleased to announce an intensive project management (PM) training and career transition program for veterans and spouses starting in January 2014.

This program takes an integrated, holistic approach to training, education and transition, and is completely free of charge to Veterans, Veteran Spouses, and Active Duty Spouses.

The goal of the program is to enable participants to successfully transition into high-quality, executive-track positions in private sector project management and management consulting careers. The program includes the following:

  • Intensive classroom instruction on project management fundamentals
  • Group exercises and case studies
  • Public speaking and presentations
  • Resume writing support
  • Practice interview sessions
  • Ongoing mentoring and support
  • Training on management tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project, iBooks, Prezi)

The program is targeted to participants with little or no project management experience. Participants will learn the fundamentals of project management, industry standards, and best practices based on real projects. Following a full day of intensive classroom instruction, participants will be able to get individualized support and mentoring throughout the year from experienced professionals.

The first class will be held on Saturday, January 25, from 9am – 5pm in downtown Washington, D.C. Additional classes will be offered throughout the year.

For more information about this program, please visit us online to learn more or register.

Alumni Update

Ben Shakman
U.S. Army, Logistics and Human Resources, Major
District Representative, Nalco
- See more at:

Ben Shakman
U.S. Army, Logistics and Human Resources, Major
District Representative, Nalco


When it came time to decide what field to enter, Ben Shakman knew that performance-based compensation was something he desired, so that ruled out public sector employment.  Because he did not know what industry would be right for or even what he particularly wanted to do, his job search was largely unstructured and directionless for the first few months.

Shakman now sells specialty chemicals used in steam and cooling systems to a wide-ranging customer base, which includes light manufacturing, government, healthcare, and food & beverage plants.  He partners with customers and prospects to ensure asset preservation and efficient operation, while providing solutions which reduce their overall impact on the environment in terms of water and energy consumption.  In addition, he works with raw and wastewater treatment customers to achieve very specific quality goals.  

Shakman and his new career remind us that while veterans may not always have the knowledge, skills, and abilities that exactly match the job description, they have an unbelievable ability to grow and learn if afforded the opportunity and are properly mentored.  “Veterans understand mission accomplishment like nobody else in the world.  We exercise considerable creativity and initiative to attain our goals,” says Shakman.


Veterans are Positioned for Success with Phillips 66

Orion International is pleased to announce the launch of the newly redesigned Careers with Phillips 66 website. Phillips 66, a Fortune 500 company with over $169.5 billion in revenue in 2012, has partnered with Orion to recruit a large number of technical positions within Phillips 66 Refinery Operations and Transportation divisions. The website is part of the Phillips 66 Military Transition Program powered by Orion and is a great example of how companies interested in hiring veterans attract top-quality military candidates.

On this new site, interested veterans can learn not only about the available positions, interview dates, and requirements, but also the culture at Phillips 66. Headquartered in Houston, the company has 13,500 employees who are committed to operating excellence and safety.

Bob Herman, SVP, Health, Safety & Environment at Phillips 66, appeals directly to veteran candidates in a video on the site and explains why Phillips 66 is seeking veterans: “At Phillips 66, safety is a core value. Safety is one of the many values shared with the military. And that is why former service men and women fit well into the culture at Phillips 66. We would be honored to have you join our team. The qualities that make you successful in the military: integrity, commitment to excellence, and responsibility, make you a great candidate for Phillips 66."

The website also provides veteran insights into the company in another video featuring Orion alumni Trevor Frank, William White, Joseph Kaiser, Wilfred Cill, Ya Zhang, & Wesley Koech. White, an Orion alumnus and Phillips 66 Instrumentation Technician at the Bayway Refinery, found his military background as a Navy Fire Control Systems Technician to be great preparation for his new career. “I was able to use my military experience and training and utilize those skills at Phillips 66, and Phillips 66 was able to bring even more opportunities and capabilities with their training program,” he says.

Congratulations to This Month's Winner

Carrie Moore 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 Bloomberg Radio

On Veterans Day, Orion International President Mike Starich guest starred on Bloomberg Radio for the show “The Hays Advantage,” for their special Salute to Veterans programming in honor of Veterans Day. Starich weighed in on the issue of veterans transitioning out of the military into the civilian sector, explaining some current trends in the job market, and some common misconceptions about the military.

During the interview, Starich explained that Orion International focuses on finding civilian careers for Junior Military Officers and Technicians, a very competitive niche of candidate that is in high demand in the private sector but hard to come by.

Yet in spite of this trend, while the supply of military candidates is good, the demand is not as great, and the unemployment rate for veterans still remains at 10 percent, the same as last year. Starich credits this to the fact that about half the jobs so far this year were added in the retail and hospitality sectors, which typically do not offer higher paying salaries.

Starich stated that Orion International does receive some interference trying to break into new industries, mostly because of mistaken beliefs about the military.

“A common misconception of the military is that we’re [the military] robots,” states Starich. “Military candidates are highly motivated, work very well under pressure, are highly organized, and show great initiative. These qualities civilians simply cannot match.”

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