The Oregon National Guard Joint Transition Assistance Program (JTAP) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce are scheduled to join businesses and service providers in Oregon’s first Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Job Fairs at Clackamas Community College and Blue Mountain Community College(BMCC,) Nov. 19.
More than 70 employers ready to hire will be in attendance at the CCC event.
There will also be post-deployment events for Oregon National Guard Soldiers and Oregon Sailors at CCC, with another Oregon National Guard post-deployment event taking place at BMCC.
When the Oregon National Guard re-integration program started, Oregon was the only state combining re-integration efforts with a jobs program called the Career Transition Assistance Program, said Plans and Operations Reintegration Manager, Master Sgt. Vince Jacques.
An initial conversation between Jacques, after he had recently returned from Iraq, and Brig. Gen. Mike Caldwell, deputy director of the Oregon Military Department, sparked an idea that has now become a joint service team of 16 working with an elaborate network service providers reaching out to service members, families and veterans across the state, Jacques said.
Jacques said Oregon National Guard Soldiers bonded by catastrophic injuries and lost loved ones started the effort in Oregon. Jacques being one of those Soldiers was forced to leave Iraq in 2004 after he and his gunner were seriously wounded-his driver was killed. Col. (Ret.) Scott McCrae, also one of the founding members, was struggling with the loss of his son who was killed in an IED attack a few weeks earlier. He and Jacques said that after their own experiences, they wanted to make sure all Oregon’s service members were taken care of when they came home.
The Oregon National Guard Reintegration Program and Career Transition Assistance Program have combined into a Joint Transition Assistance Program for better organization and communication.
The team is continuing to focus on helping Oregon National Guard members and their families while reaching out to other branches of the service with focus on careers, education and health.
JTAP expansion is in response to service members from Oregon who have deployed for federal service in numbers not seen since World War II. Oregon does not have an active duty military post for any branch of the armed forces.
Members of the JTAP team and hiring employers will be in attendance with service providers at the Hiring Our Heroes Job Fairs which will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Nov. 19.
For more information about the HOH job fairs, JTAP, or resources available to veterans in Oregon, call 1-888-688-2264.
News Release from: Oregon Military Department