Developing a shared work force: the U.S. Army Reserve Employer Partnership Initiative.

Author:Rice, Rusty
Position:Work Force Update

The U.S. Army Reserve is teaming up with the correctional and law enforcement industries to enhance job opportunities for soldiers and veterans in an effort to reinforce America's competitiveness in the global economy. Launched in April 2008, the Employer Partnership Initiative (EPI) officially formalizes the relationship between the Army Reserve and the private sector, both of which share common goals such as strengthening local communities, supporting Army Reserve soldiers and growing a stronger economy.

The innovative program, created by Lt, Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief of the Army Reserve, offers soldiers two careers--one with the Army Reserve and the other with an employer partner. Stultz believes that the initiative provides a way for the Army Reserve to thank soldiers and their families for their selfless service. "The initiative gives our soldiers the opportunity of advance their private-sector careers and provides their families stability while the soldier continues to defend and protect our country," said Stultz.

But it is not only the soldiers who are benefiting from these partnerships; the initiative also assists the employer partners. Partners have assured access to highly trained and qualified law enforcement professionals. They also benefit from the employment of pre-screened men and women with Army values and proven leadership skills.

As employer partner representative Chief Cathy L. Lanier of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department said, "Our partnership with the Army Reserve is an important one that will help us to recruit and retain a highly skilled work force. It will help make our force stronger and our city safer." The Metropolitan Police Department became the first law enforcement agency to join EPI, in the summer of 2008.

EPI serves as a mechanism for the Army Reserve to cooperate with employers who are drawing from the same work force. EPI partnerships allow the Army Reserve and partner employers to potentially collaborate on a variety of work force development issues, including training, professional development, credentialing and licensing. Ultimately, the Army Reserve and employers enable each other's efforts, instead of competing with each other.

The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) joined EPI in October 2008. According to ADOC Commissioner and former officer in the U.S. Army Reserve Richard Allen, this is a win-win opportunity. The partnership allows the two organizations to help each other...

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