Best Jobs For Veterans 2018

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Best Jobs for Veterans

Eight of the best civilian jobs for transitioning veterans have been identified by one of the top job search sites, CareerCast. These include registered nurse, financial advisor, info security analyst and operations research assistant, among others.

“There are many benefits to hiring veterans,” says Kyle Kensing, online content editor, CareerCast. “The discipline, teamwork and leadership qualities emphasized in the military directly translate to the civilian workforce. Skills gained during military service are in high demand.”

Public and private sector efforts to recruit and employ veterans have paid major dividends in lowering the unemployment rate for veterans. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2016 that of the approximately 21.2 million men and women with military experience, an unemployment rate that hovered near 10 percent just seven years ago has been cut almost in half.

The Veterans Opportunity to Work Act was designed for the Department of Labor to match veterans with career paths based on their responsibilities while in service. Private-sector companies are also launching their own hiring initiatives to match veteran job seekers with open positions.

Growing emphasis on technological skills in the military translate well to a growing market for IT professionals. Information Security is an area of growing importance in both military and government matters. Veterans who work specifically in IT security during their service can effectively translate their skills into government positions of the same nature.

Another area of emphasis in military service is healthcare. Nursing positions are also in demand for enlisted personnel, and many states allow veterans with experience as nurses in the military to apply that experience to civilian certification.

For those veterans looking to use their civilian careers to make a positive impact for others in the military, careers in management and finance offer great opportunities. Businesses tailoring their outreach to the veteran community are increasingly turning to veterans for management consultant and operations research analyst positions.
Financial advisor is the No. 1 most in-demand field in the CareerCast Veteran Network job database. Veterans with a background in mathematics and finance can work directly with military families to help them protect their investments and savings.

The improved employment landscape for veterans isn’t merely a boon to one section of the workforce. Veterans bring skills that greatly benefit employers, making them prime candidates in a variety of fields.

Here are eight of the best jobs for veterans:

Profession Annual Median Salary* Growth Outlook*
Financial advisor $89,160 30%
Information security analyst $90,120 18%
Management consultant $81,320 14%
Nurse practitioner $104,740 31%
Operations research analyst $78,630 30%
Registered nurse $67,490 16%
Sales manager $113,860 5%
Software engineer $100,690 17%

The best jobs for veterans were selected from the 200 professions covered in the Jobs Rated report as a good match based on their responsibilities and skills gained while in service.

Wages and projected growth outlooks through 2024 are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To read the full report, visit veteran.careercast.com/jobs-rated
Source: veteran.careercast.com/jobs-veterans

Marines, rejoice: Someone made crayons that are actually meant to be eaten

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cartoon image of solder in uniform sqatting down with crayon in hand

Marine veteran has spent the last several years trying to turn a joke at the Corps’ expense into a successful business, and it looks like he’s nearly there with Crayons Ready to Eat. Created by Frank Manteau and Cassandra Gordon, Crayons Ready to Eat are not only edible, but writable chocolate crayons that come in a range of colors — though unlike those actual little color spears and waxy-practice-pencils, these have a triangular shape, and that’s by design.

“It’s so they don’t roll off a table,” Manteau said, and so “parents, [noncommissioned officers] and [staff noncommissioned officers] can say ‘this is okay to eat because of its shape,’ and ‘this one is not okay to eat.’”

They also come in packaging modeled after the military’s Meals Ready to Eat, hence the name Crayons Ready to Eat — and yes, a lot of this humor is on the nose, but considering that 90 percent of those reading this story will be Marines, I wanted to break it down Barney Style for my fellow ‘crayon eaters.’

Now, if you’re a little confused on some, or all of the above, and find yourself wondering: What does eating crayons — something you expect from a young child without adult supervision — have to do with being a Marine? Well, you’re not alone. Manteau was a bit lost back in 2017 when he learned that Marines had added ‘crayon eaters’ to an already long list of nicknames.

“When I was in the Marine Corps we were not crayon eaters,” said Manteau, a former infantryman who served from 1995 until 2002. “We were not crayon eaters,” he said again, just for emphasis. “We were jarheads, grunts, ground pounders, bullet sponges.”

The term, its mocking tone, and its origins piqued his curiosity, so he started to ask around “Where did this come from?” he wondered, but nobody knew.

“I could not figure out how we became crayon eaters,” he said. And while there were plenty of memes, and even a few videos that referenced, or fully embraced the “Marines are dumb and eat crayons” joke, none of it explained how that came to be. Instead, he simply accepted it as the new normal for Marines; So long ‘Devil Dogs,’ we’re ‘crayon eaters’ now.

So Manteau accepted the joke and wore it like a badge of honor “in true Marine Corps fashion,” he said. “We embrace every joke that comes at our expense and we will make it our own. We will laugh with you, not be laughed at by you.”

Manteau is right after all: ‘Leatherneck’ and ‘Devil Dog’ are hardly laudatory nicknames; one is a reference to an uncomfortable uniform item that Marines long ago had to wear; the other, according to Marine Corps lore, was bestowed on World War I Marines by horrified German soldiers. And let’s not forget ‘jarhead’ which was most definitely meant to be an insult, but instead had to settle for being the third-best nickname.

As for how a joke about being in the Marine Corps is a lot like being in kindergarten segued into an idea for a business, well, that’s another matter. (Now, it’s worth noting that there have been other Marines who tried to turn the ‘crayon eater’ trope into a business, or at least a product, like the Marine vet who created edible crayons through her company, Okashi Sweets, though the venture appears to have been short-lived as the link to the site is now broken.)

Manteau, a carpenter by trade, said the idea began to take shape while he was working on an art project, and just so happened to find himself drawing on a piece of wood near a box of crayons. Without thinking, as he reached for a different color crayon, he put the one he was using in his mouth and began to chew.

“And then it hit me: Maybe there is something to people chewing on crayons,” he said. Naturally, the next thought was: Okay, so how do you make a crayon that’s meant to be gnawed upon?

Immediately, Manteau called up Cassanda Gordon, a former colleague and pastry chef.

“Can you make chocolate writable?” he asked. “She said ‘yes,’ and that’s all I needed to hear,” Manteau said.

By September 2017 she’d developed a working model for edible and writable crayons.

Read the complete article on Task & Purpose here.

Recruit Your Job Candidates Online

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Soldier with tablet standing in front of a blurry map

Online recruiting is a vital strategy to make the most of your recruiting budget, and to access the best range of hiring candidates.  But it’s important to choose strategies that suit your organization, employment needs, and local workforce.

Here are some tips to recruit online effectively:

1) You can make a strong start by better understanding the labor pool of the potential workforce in your area. Study up on local demographics and reach out for personal assistance to your local American Job Center to connect with a Business Services Representative for help using online recruiting strategies.

2) You can reach a large share of qualified candidates in your area through free public job banks. Learn how to easily access your state’s job bank and how to post a job.

3) Education and training providers often seek out employers in their area for internships and employment for their students and graduates. Connect with your local schools and training programs, including local community colleges, universities, and short-term training programs to learn how to post jobs on their online tools, or connect with grads through social media.

4) Professional associations are a great source for finding qualified candidates. Learn how to connect to professional and industry associations to promote your job openings on their job boards.

5) Social media is a critical method for reaching candidates and communicating with them online. Social media platforms provide you with access to a very large pool of potential hiring candidates, whom you would likely never reach through more traditional means, and most are free to use. Learn how to get started using social media for recruitment.

There are specialized niche forums and groups for particular industries and occupations, such as GitHub for software developers, Warrior Forum for marketers, or Quora, a customizable site for shared posts on a wide variety of topics and projects. But for a broad recruiting source for all kinds of businesses, the top three social media sites are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Here’s a quick introduction to these major social media sites and tips on how to use them to find candidates:

LinkedIn

  • Create a LinkedIn profile for your company and promote your company culture to potential candidates
  • Search for candidates with the skills you’re looking for; use filters to narrow the list of candidates and view candidates’ education and work histories without requesting a resume
  • Post a job using the Jobs feature
  • Send a job opening using a “status” message
  • Post questions on recruiting issues

Facebook

  • Create a Facebook page for your company
  • Announce company news or job openings
  • Use a Facebook app (or Facebook’s new job function) to post jobs
  • Search for job candidates

Twitter

  • Create a Twitter handle and profile for your company
  • Search for (or follow) candidates with skills you’re looking for
  • Tweet information (company announcements, job openings, etc.)
  • Communicate with jobseekers who receive your tweets

Source:  CareerOneStop

What Should I Include in My Federal Resume?

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man dressed in a suit with several other professionals in the background

Whether you’re a current federal employee or new to the Federal Government, your resume is the primary way for you to communicate your education, skills and experience.

Before you get started

Read the entire job announcement. Focus on the following sections to understand whether or not you qualify for the position.

This critical information is found under:

  • Duties and Qualifications
  • How to Apply (including a preview of the assessment questionnaire)
  • How You Will be Evaluated

Make sure you have the required experience and/or education before you apply. Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and the required qualifications, including:

  • Level and amount of experience
  • Education
  • Training

What to include in your resume

Federal jobs often require that you have experience in a particular type of work for a certain period of time. You must show how your skills and experiences meet the qualifications and requirements listed in the job announcement to be considered for the job.

Include dates, hours, level of experience and examples for each work experience

For each work experience you list, make sure you include:

  • Start and end dates (including the month and year).
  • The number of hours you worked per week.
  • The level and amount of experience–for instance, whether you served as a project manager or a team member helps to illustrate your level of experience.
  • Examples of relevant experiences and accomplishments that prove you can perform the tasks at the level required for the job as stated in the job announcement. Your experience needs to address every required qualification.

Example:

Program Analyst GS-343-11
January 2009 – Present
40 Hours/Week
$63,000/Year

Experience/Accomplishment

Include volunteer work and roles in community organizations

Don’t limit yourself to only including paid work experience. Include relevant volunteer work or community organizations roles that demonstrate your ability to do the job.

  • Use numbers to highlight your accomplishments
  • Use numbers, percentages or dollars to highlight your accomplishments–you can find this information in things like your performance reviews, previous job descriptions, awards and letters of recommendation.

When explaining your accomplishments:

  • Include examples of how you saved money, earned money, or managed money.
  • Include examples of how you saved or managed time.

Examples:

“Improved efficiency of document processing by 25% over the previous year.”

“Wrote 25 news releases in a three-week period under daily deadlines.”

“Managed a student organization budget of more than $7,000.”

“Wrote prospect letter that has brought in more than $25,000 in donations to date.”

These statements show in concrete terms what you accomplished.

Customize your resume

You should tailor your resume to the job announcement rather than sending out the same resume for every job. Customizing your resume helps you match your competencies, knowledge, skills, abilities and experience to the requirements for each job. Emphasize your strengths and include everything you’ve done that relates to the job you’re seeking. Leave out experience that isn’t relevant.

Use similar terms and address every required qualification

Your experience needs to address every required qualification in the job announcement. Hiring agencies will look for specific terms in your resume to make sure you have the experience they’re seeking.

For example, if the qualifications section says you need experience with “MS Project” you need to use the words, “MS Project” in your resume.

Organize your resume to make it easy to understand

You need to organize your resume to help agencies evaluate your experience. If you don’t provide the information required for the hiring agency to determine your qualifications, you might not be considered for the job.

  • Use reverse chronological order to list your experience–start with your most recent experience first and work your way back.
  • Provide greater detail for experience that is relevant to the job for which you are applying.

Show all experiences and accomplishments under the job in which you earned it. This helps agencies determine the amount of experience you have with that particular skill.

  • Use either bullet or paragraph format to describe your experiences and accomplishments.
  • Use plain language– avoid using acronyms and terms that are not easily understood.

 

Be concise

Hiring agencies often receive dozens or even hundreds of resumes for certain positions. Hiring managers quickly skim through submissions and eliminate candidates who clearly are not qualified. Look at your resume and ask:

  • Can a hiring manager see my main credentials within 10 to 15 seconds?
  • Does critical information jump off the page?
  • Do I effectively sell myself on the top quarter of the first page?
  • Review your resume before you apply
  • Check your resume for spelling and grammatical errors and have someone else, with a good eye for detail, review your resume.

Important facts about the federal hiring process

The Federal Government does have a standard job application. Your resume is your application.

Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and list the required qualifications and responsibilities.

After applying, the hiring agency uses the information in your resume to verify if you have the required qualifications stated in the job announcement.

Once the hiring agency has determined who is qualified, they may use other assessments such as interviews or testing to determine the best qualified applications.

Source: usajobs.gov

10 Ways to Land That Civilian Job

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man in a suit smiling looking confident

You’ve proven your commitment, discipline and resourcefulness in the military world. Now it’s time to trade in your experience for a great job. Just like everything, it’s all about readiness and attitude.

Start early. Be prepared. Go for it.

  1. Verify yourself. Your Verification of Military Experience and Training, or VMET, summarizes your skills, knowledge and experience, and suggests civilian equivalent job titles. To obtain a copy of your VMET, visit the milConnect website.
  1. Get a career assessment. You have considerable strengths and skills. Now, how can they be applied to a civilian job? A career assessment can point the way. Contact your local transition assistance office and ask your counselor how you can be set up with a career assessment free of charge.
  1. Translate your experience. Your military licenses or certifications might not be recognizable to the civilian world. Learn how to translate your training and experience into skills employers recognize with Credentialing Opportunities Online, or COOL. Visit the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service website to learn more and locate your service branch’s COOL website.
  1. Get out there. Take advantage of every resource and opportunity: recruiters, military transition offices, veteran service organizations, online information. Utilize and grow your network. Contact your nearest employment office or private employment agencies (make sure you know who’s paying). Check internet job sites, such as LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor – but watch it. Get recommendations for trustworthy sites.
  1. Tap your transition assistance office. Take an employment workshop. Get referrals for employment agencies and recruiters, job leads, career counseling and computer access for online job searches. Transition assistance offices have a wealth of services. You can also visit the Department of Labor’s Transition Assistance Program website for more resources.
  1. Look good online. Employers check social media almost immediately when they’re thinking of hiring. Do you need to remove material that makes you look like a bad hire? Get a professional email address or headshot? How about creating or updating your profile on LinkedIn?
  1. Hit the job fairs. This is one-stop shopping. Meet potential employers, pass out resumes and interview on the spot, all in one place. Look sharp and practice your interview skills beforehand. Learn about upcoming job fairs and who will be there at your transition office as well as online. Check out CareerOneStop’s tips for creating or updating your resume.
  1. Go from military to Fed. Find civilian jobs online with the federal government through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. You can also create an account and build your resume at USAJobs.gov. Brush up on federal hiring with FedsHireVets.gov.
  1. Network, then network some more. Networking is one of the most effective of all job search tools. You’ve made a lot of great connections during your time in the service. Transition is the right time to start putting them to work. Get in touch with friends and fellow veterans. It’s just a good thing anyway to re-establish friendships as you transition.
  1. Take advantage of your status. Many organizations are committed to helping veterans find a good job. Look for groups with programs for service members such as:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative

Soldier for Life

Marine for Life

Military Officers Association of America

Non-Commissioned Officers Association

United Service Organizations

Your military experience is valuable to many employers. Not many people have your proven work ethic and dedication. Like everything, finding the right job is a matter of being prepared and doing the work. You’re in the military. You know how to make that happen. And there are lots of people and resources who want to back you up.

Source: MilitaryOneSource

US Department of Labor launches new monthly series of workshops to provide employment assistance to transitioning military spouses

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The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a new monthly series of career workshops to provide employment assistance to transitioning military spouses. Participation is free and classes are open to all transitioning military spouses.

The launch follows a successful pilot program in October 2020.

The workshops are part of the department’s Transition Assistance Program series targeted at helping military spouses plan and prepare for their job search in pursuit of their employment goals. Offered by the department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, the workshops are part of the Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses’ curriculum.

Registration is now open for the following February classes:

  • Marketing Me: Focuses on using marketing techniques in a job search. Explores networking opportunities and uses multiple resources to develop an action plan.
  • Your Next Move: Reviews online resources provided by the department to define and explore career opportunities. Shows how spouses can use labor market research to choose a career path or develop a job search plan.
  • Career Credentials: Defines professional credentials and their importance, illustrates pathways for credentialing and identifies license and credential portability resources.
  • Resume Essentials: Designed to help spouses create the most effective resume possible with guidance from trained facilitators, and to learn how to evaluate resumes and understand job application techniques.

VETS will offer the workshops monthly, and has scheduled the first workshops from Feb. 16 through Feb. 19. The agency is offering them virtually. Register and review a full schedule of classes.

A cooperative effort among the department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service and the departments of Defense, Education, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management, the Transition Assistance Program provides information, tools and training to service members and their spouses in preparation for a return to civilian life. Approximately 200,000 men and women transition from U.S. military service to civilian life annually.

Source: DOL

The Rosie Network National Veteran & Military Spouse Awards

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Stephanie Brown in blue dress speaking behind Podium

The Rosie Network is a national award-winning nonprofit that works to empower our nation’s active-duty, veteran, and military spouse small business owners and budding entrepreneurs around the country for more than six years.

The Rosie Network supports our small and diverse military community through our customized, no-cost Service2CEO Entrepreneurial Program. Our program is delivered to service members, veterans, and spouses through chapters. Rosie Chapters serve military spouses and female service members or veterans; the Warrior Chapter delivers the Service2CEO program to veterans and active-duty soldiers; and Valor Chapters serve diverse-minded people in the military community and people of color.

Photo Credit:  Leona Sublett –  Stephanie Brown, CEO & Founder of The Rosie Network announcing the awardees of the 2020 Veteran & Military Spouse Entrepreneur Awards; Stephanie Brown, The Rosie Network

The Veteran & Military Spouse Entrepreneur Awards were created to recognize and celebrate military business owners’ accomplishments around the world when The Rosie Network launched this event in 2017. In our fourth year, we would love to present the 4th Annual Awardees across ten different categories, as reviewed by an independent panel of judges.

The 2020 National Veteran and Military Spouse Entrepreneur Awards were presented during Veteran Small Business Week, November 2nd-6th. A special thank you to Newman’s Own & Fisher House Foundation, USAA, GovX, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Wells Fargo for taking the time to present The Rosie Network Paddle Awards to the winners. For more information about the presentations, finalists, and awardees, please visit The Rosie Network website at the rosienetwork.org
2020 National Veteran and Military Spouse Entrepreneur Awardees

Active Duty Owned Business of the Year

Anthony Gantt

At Ease Rentals Corporation, pcsatease.com
At Ease Rental Corporation provides comfortable, convenient, safe, and welcoming short-term/vacation rentals to federal employees and their families.

Veteran Owned Business of the Year

Paul Salopek

Advanced Integration, LLC, advint.com

ADVINT is Testing the Limits of Technology® to provide the competitive advantage needed to succeed in today’s demanding business environment.

Inspirational Leader of the Year

Shirley Walker-King, shirleywalkerking.com

SWK Management and Consulting Services, LLC

Offering a variety of services to meet both individual and organizational needs.

Health & Wellness Professional of the Year

Chris Kaag

IM ABLE Foundation, imablefoundation.org

Removing obstacles that prevent people affected by disabilities from being physically active by redefining what is possible.

Military Spouse Owned Business of the Year

Lindsey Litton

MilHousing Network, milhousingnetwork.com

Connecting military families with pre-screened realtors specially trained in serving the military community.

Trailblazer of the Year

Vernice Armour

VAI Consulting and Training, LLC, vernicearmour.com

Vernice’s global mission is based on the Breakthrough Mentality mindset, helping leaders to step up, lead, and get gutsy.

Military Spouse Owned Start-up of the Year

Maya Edinburgh-Taylor

M.E.T. Speech Therapy, metaylorspeech.com

Providing individualized, naturalistic, culturally competent, and client-centered speech, language, and swallowing services in the comfort of your own home.

Veteran Owned Start-up Business of the Year

Travis Arnold

Caisson Shaving Company, LLC, caisson-shaving.com

Handmade to order in the U.S., Caisson Shaving’s soap is tolerant of austere conditions and packaged in a leak-proof container, designed for the soldier and adventurous gentlemen.

Media Professional of the Year (Tie, #1)

Jen Amos

Jen Amos holding the 2020 National Veteran & Military Spouse Entrepreneur Award, a Navy Paddle hand crafted by Valhallas Forge
Jen Amos holding the 2020 National Veteran & Military Spouse Entrepreneur Award, a Navy Paddle hand crafted by Valhallas Forge; Jen Amos, Holding Down the Fort Podcast, photo credit Jen Amos

Holding Down the Fort Podcast, holdingdownthefortpodcast.com

Dedicated to making the lives of military spouses easier by curating knowledge, resources, and relevant stories.

Media Professional of the Year (Tie, #2)

David Johnson

The David Johnson Show, thedavidjohnsonshow.com

The Veteran Talk Show and podcast for the post-9/11 era Veteran and Military Community, bringing stories, perspectives, and fascinating new content to our community.

Franchise of the Year

Joe Klimek

Sport Clips Haircuts, sportsclips.com, www.facebook.com/SCTX201

Provides championship haircut experiences in an exciting sports-themed environment.

Admiral’s Circle

Todd Cline, Senior Business Consultant at Cetera Financial Group

The Rosie Network presents this special award to an individual who goes above and beyond to support our military community.

Find these and other veteran or military spouse-owned small businesses around the country at Rosie’s List powered by Grow With Google and verified by GovXID (rosieslist.org).

Army Veteran Dave Wyatt Grows Minuteman Press Franchise During COVID-19 Pandemic By Helping Local Businesses

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Dave Wyatt stands with his family in his Minute Press Press shop

During his first year in business as Minuteman Press franchise owner in Medina, Ohio, Dave Wyatt was faced with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We reached out to local businesses early on to let them know we were there to help them in their time of need. They learned we were open as an essential business and that they could trust us, and that sparked our growth.”

One of the ways Dave helped other local businesses when they needed it most was through their free initiative Bounce Back Medina. “Bounce Back Medina simply connects local businesses with community members who are looking to shop local and support local. This is completely free and we also provide participating businesses with free COVID-19 awareness posters. This was our way of letting everyone know that we are all in this together and we will help in any way we can to lift each other up.”

Dave also reached out to local bars and restaurants, providing them with 100 free printed menus. “I knew they needed to make changes to their menus or simply needed to use them to reach out to customers, so I thought it was the right thing to do. They were very appreciative and once again they saw that we were there to help them at a critical time.”

He also printed free 10-minute parking signs for all businesses in the square downtown. “Curbside pickup became very big, and I just wanted to do my part to help other businesses adapt and stay safe.”

Goodwill goes a long way to growing sales

As a result of his efforts in giving back and building authentic relationships with other local businesses he truly cares about, Dave has seen his sales grow 30% despite the challenges of the pandemic. “Some of the businesses I reached out to through Bounce Back and these other giveaways have remembered us and stuck with us. They see that we can meet their printing and marketing needs. More importantly, they know I am there for them and that I can empathize with them since I am a local business owner too.”

At Minuteman Press Medina, Dave is able to provide high-demand products and services that local businesses need right now. He explains, “We provide general printing services, custom branded apparel, wide format printing and signage, and direct mail campaigns. These are all items being ordered and used by our clients during the pandemic.”

He continues, “For example, we were honored to be able to help our graduating students last year by printing over 1,200 signs for families. We are proud to help keep businesses safe with social distancing signage and branded face masks. They can safely reach out to their target audiences through direct mail postcards as well as Dynamic Direct Mail, where people are contacted both through the mail and online.”

Dave adds, “We are local and we care about our community. We have that personal touch you won’t find elsewhere, and you certainly won’t find it online. You will not find another team to take care of your printing and marketing needs like we do at Minuteman Press Medina.”

Dave also credits his local in-house staff of three employees who he is able to lean on to make sure his clients receive that personal touch and outstanding customer service. “We have a great team that works well together. Sierra is our Graphic Designer; Mary is our Customer Support Rep; and Eric is our Production Specialist. I am humbled to have the support I do from them. As a business owner you want to be comfortable when you are away from the shop and they make it that way for me.”

Furthering his local ties to the community, Dave makes sure to get involved and stay active. “Community is so important. I am a Chamber Ambassador for the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce and also a member of the Wadsworth Chamber of Commerce. This allows me to get to know the new businesses as they are coming in or just joining the Chamber.  I am a member of the Medina County Economic Development Corporation as well.  I join as many networking groups as I can and still be comfortable with my time. Networking and growing relationships through the ‘know, like and trust’ platform was key in thriving during this pandemic.”

“Printing will never go away but you must be more than a printer. You need to be a marketer, a designer, a promoter, and most importantly, a business partner.  People need to trust you and your team. Once you have that trust, you have a customer for life.” -Dave Wyatt, Minuteman Press franchise owner, Medina, Ohio

From the US Army to the American Dream of Business Ownership

Prior to owning his own business at the end of 2019, Dave Wyatt says, “I spent 8 years in the Army as an Aircraft Electrician. I spent the next 19 years with Konica Minolta (16 years in service and 3 years in sales). During that time, I did a lot of training and calibrating equipment so I was in many different types of businesses. I saw independent print shops, UPS stores, and Minuteman Press franchises. When I decided to own my own business, I knew I didn’t want to open without support so I went the franchise route.”

Why Minuteman Press? Dave answers, “What I liked about Minuteman Press from what I learned in research and what I saw while working for Konica Minolta is that they allow the personality of the business to shine. They offer the most flexibility in terms of how to run your franchise, so while I am following their system, I still feel like an entrepreneur. I didn’t see that from other franchises and I also didn’t want something like foodservice where I’d be working long hours at night and on weekends. Having that freedom to be me and the Monday-Friday hours were huge along with their training and support.”

“Minuteman Press has guidelines and if you follow those guidelines you will be successful, but they also allow you the freedom to make many of your own choices when it comes the way that you actually run your business. During my search for a franchise, I felt many other franchisees were just glorified managers for their franchisors because they seemed to have very little freedom to make decisions on their own without corporate breathing down their backs. Between that, their training and support, the Monday-Friday hours, and their cap on royalties, I was sold.” -Dave Wyatt

Dave expands on the ongoing local support he receives from Minuteman Press International. “I have a great local support team in Regional Vice President Gary Nowak and Area Manager Rich DeRosa, who are only a call or email away. Everyone at Minuteman Press has been helpful during this pandemic and they have really shown me that they have my back with constant communications and additional marketing strategies.

He adds, “Our Minuteman Press FLEX software system is also a huge game-changer for us. We have implemented customer dashboards, which allows for easy online ordering and reordering. If people come to me and say that they prefer online ordering, we make that available to them while also still being their local trusted provider they can still talk to and meet with. They can have the best of both worlds.”

Advice for Others

Dave shares the following advice for others who are looking to own a business. He states, “Ensure you have enough capital; my bank has been a good business partner and because of that I was prepared when the pandemic first hit. With that said, you can’t be afraid to spend money in ways that will help you market and grow. Invest in people, inventory, and equipment where it makes sense. I also encourage you to study, read books, and listen to podcasts.  Always be learning, and never stop.”

For more information on Minuteman Press in Medina, Ohio, visit https://www.medina.minutemanpress.com. Learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and read Minuteman Press franchise reviews at https://minutemanpressfranchise.com.

A bridge from the Navy to civilian life

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two student veterans are pictured in the center of a Raytheon warehouse background

Raytheon Missiles & Defense awards SPY-6 scholarships to US Navy vets.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, has partnered with the Student Veterans of America to award two $10,000 scholarships to U.S. Navy student veterans.

The recipients are Francheska Salazar, a sophomore at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Chris Ricks, who attends Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.

The scholarship, named for the Navy’s SPY-6 family of radars, helps veterans achieve their educational goals and succeed in their transition to civilian life. It is part of the company’s longstanding support for military veterans, which includes a $5 million commitment to SVA.

Photo: Francheska Salazar and Chris Ricks received the 2020 Raytheon Missiles & Defense SPY-6 scholarships offered exclusively to U.S. Navy student veterans pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree.

A humanitarian at heart

Pride in service runs deep in Francheska Salazar’s family, as she is a fifth generation veteran, but her decision to enlist in the Navy extends beyond tradition.

“I realized how much each generation of my family sacrificed so I may have the privilege to have choices,” Salazar said. “I was not about to waste this opportunity.”

While serving 13 years in the military, Salazar deployed to Latin America on humanitarian missions that helped shape her career trajectory and life purpose.

“I want to be part of a team that works to find long-term solutions,” said Salazar, who aspires to work in immigration and human rights policy.

After separating from the Navy, Salazar used her GI Bill at a community college where she earned paralegal degrees. It left her with limited benefits to complete her bachelor’s degree and attend law school.

“The SPY-6 scholarship gives me peace of mind and hope,” she said.

A life of service

Chris Ricks wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself, so he joined the Navy’s Submarine Force.

“Every day on a nuclear submarine was something special,” said Ricks, an 8-year veteran. “Every sailor has a unique role in accomplishing the mission.”

The former sailor will use the SPY-6 scholarship to help pay for his MBA.

“I look at it as a long-term investment that will serve as a foundation for the next chapter of my life,” he said.

Ricks hopes to someday use artificial intelligence to improve the lives of others in agriculture, health, finance and education.

“My military experience has given me a passion to empower others, improve systems and solve problems with cutting-edge technology,” he said.

Source: Raytheon

Veterans Business Battle seeks entrepreneurs for 2021 competition

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man with microphone pitching his business idea

Rice University’s business competition geared for military veterans has new benefits for entrepreneurs who apply for a spot in the 2021 event.

Applications are open for Veterans Business Battle, an event that gives military veterans an opportunity to pitch their business plans to a panel of investors for a chance at investments, business partnerships, and prize money. In the last seven years, more than $3.5 million of investments have been funded through the program, with more from the 2020 virtual event still in negotiations. Early-stage businesses and existing companies needing growth capital are both encouraged to apply.

This year, Veterans Business Battle has partnered with NextSeed Securities, a registered broker dealer and FINRA member that works with startups and small businesses to raise capital through an online investment platform (nextseed.com). Businesses invited to present at the 2021 Veterans Business Battle will undergo due diligence screening by NextSeed. Vetted companies will be featured on a dedicated online platform allowing individuals from the general public to make investments in those companies.

“Last year’s online-only event gave us an opportunity to think of ways to engage new investors and expand our audience. We’re excited to increase opportunities for our finalists and grow our network of investors,” event co-chair Matt Wilson said.

The 2021 event will also feature educational panels from another new partner organization, Warrior Rising. The non-profit supports veterans and veteran families achieve business success through education, training, and one-on-one mentorship. Cash prizes will be awarded, with $15,000 prize for first place, $10,000 for second place and $5,000 for third place.

The event is hosted by Rice Business Veterans Association, a student organization for military veterans at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business.

To apply, applicants must submit a business plan on the competition website, vetbizbattle.org, by Feb. 5. Businesses must have an honorably discharged veteran or active duty founder and equity holder who is running the venture.

Finalists will be invited to make their business pitch April 23-24 at Rice University. Those interested in competing should visit vetbizbattle.org.

Veterans Business Battle was established in 2015 by a group of Houston entrepreneurs and the Rice Business Veterans Association. The competition aims to foster entrepreneurship among veterans, grow veteran-owned businesses and give back to veterans seeking to make a difference in the business world. For more information, visit vetbizbattle.org.

Navy veteran utilizes leadership to trailblaze landscape architecture field

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Roberto Rovira headshot standing outside with greenery in the background

It may be hard to imagine how a former mechanical engineer and U.S. naval officer would eventually pursue landscape architecture as a career.

In the 25 years since he began his professional journey in this field, chair of the FIU Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design, Roberto Rovira, discovered that the path into landscape architecture is rarely a straight line.

After serving in active duty, first sailing the Atlantic on the Chilean tall ship Esmeralda as a liaison officer, and then on the mighty USS Thach in the Pacific, South China Sea, Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf during the tense years of the Desert Storm and Desert Shield conflicts, he finished his military service honorably with a hunger for more culture and education.

Fast-forward to today, Rovira has now been appointed as the vice president of leadership for the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF). The LAF is a Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit organization, that, through its programs and initiatives, works to increase the capacity, influence and impact of landscape architects to create a more sustainable, just and resilient future. Rovira was previously in the LAF board of directors and formerly served as vice president of research.

As an organization dedicated to the research, scholarship and leadership in the field, the LAF brings together leaders, innovators, critical thinkers, makers, builders and industry professionals focused on bringing about positive change through its commitment to sustainable landscape solutions and its support for the development of emerging student leaders and young professionals.

“My selection as V.P. of leadership at the Landscape Architecture Foundation gives me an opportunity to contribute to the thought leadership and the conversations that shape practice, academia and industry.” Rovira’s standpoint as a professional, teacher and administrator at FIU, with roots in Latin America, as well as a broad background that didn’t begin in landscape architecture, gives him a unique perspective.

As the largest Hispanic-serving institution of higher learning in the country and in one of the most climate-challenged and culturally diverse settings in the world, FIU prepared him to think broadly about what leadership means in this context and how adaptation can become opportunity as we face profound challenges to our communities and environments everywhere.

When asked what sparked his interest in landscape architecture and how that led him to where he was today, Rovira spoke on his heavy influence from Japan, where he had been home-ported for three years with the Navy and was forever shaped by its transcendent obsession with detail. Afterward, he entered the inactive reserve with an unparalleled appreciation for “how a vast and multi-faceted institution could adjust to complexity day in and day out through a commitment to leadership and a focus on its mission.”

This led to his studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, when he met an Austrian landscape architect who influenced him to pursue a Master of Landscape Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) years later.

View the full interview with Roberto Rovira here.

During his term as V.P. of leadership, Rovira plans to continue to set the standard for the LAF’s renowned awards programs. These programs are comprised of the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership that recognizes and rewards big ideas in landscape architecture with a $25,000 grant, and the LAF Medal and the LAF Founder’s Award that recognize significant and sustained contributions to the preservation, improvement and enhancement of the environment. He also plans to build stronger bridges that strengthen academia, industry and practice.

Rovira explained that landscape architecture is uniquely poised to rise to the challenge of this unique moment in history where environment, society, economy and health are most in need of informed and thoughtful leadership. The LAF provides a platform to create better leaders by bringing together students, educators, young professionals, industry and practice leaders.

“I look forward to leveraging my position as V.P. of leadership to make our networks between practice, academia and industry more resilient and more complementary,” he added.

See the full LAF Board of Directors here.

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