Connection: Linking Dayton-area veterans with their future employers

Published: Monday, March 21, 2016 @ 11:00 AM
Updated: Monday, March 21, 2016 @ 11:00 AM


            Heath McNaughton, top, is now a program director and instructor at Hobart Services. (Photo provided by Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley)

Last May, after serving his country for 13 years in the United States Air Force, technical sergeant Heath McNaughton was re-entering the civilian workforce. Armed with two associate and a bachelor's degree he'd earned while serving, he was feeling quite optimistic about his post military professional life.

Then reality set in.

McNaughton discovered what many of his fellow veterans had upon returning to civilian workforce – lots of things change when there's a decade or more between job interviews.

"The job market was a totally different beast from what I'd remembered," said McNaughton.

"I know what I'm good at, but understanding how that translates to the civilian workforce was tough."

Enter Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley

Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley (GESMV) noticed a disturbing statistic – unemployment for veterans in Ohio, especially post-9/11 veterans, was higher than the national average. Yet according to the Society of Human Resource Management, 88% of employers had no idea how to reach those unemployed veterans.

What if there was a way to connect employers with unemployed veterans?

The Veterans & Employers Connection or simply, "the Connection" is a partnership between employers, support service providers and community organizations working together toward a common goal: the long-term, meaningful employment of veterans in the Miami Valley area.

"Since the Connection started, we've had nearly 400 veterans walk through our doors," said Daniel M. Semsel, director of Veteran Employment Services and a retired Air Force colonel formerly stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Helping veterans to discover how their military skills will translate best into the civilian workforce is one of Semsel's biggest challenges. Another is helping veterans to have a more realistic expectation when it comes to type of job they may likely get.

He explained "You could be captain so-and-so in the military, but then you enter the civilian workforce, and you're working an entry-level HR job. That's often tough for veterans to understand."

How does the Connection help veterans find employment?

The starting point is obvious -- helping the veteran update his or her resume -- then comes a preparatory interview to gain a clear understanding of the veteran's background, skill set and interests. Semsel then reaches out to employers in the Connection's network who are looking to fill positions for which the veteran might be a good fit. Companies currently in the Connection's network include smaller organizations like HR Machine in Moraine, to larger corporations such as Kroger, Lowes and Cintas.

Semsel also helps employers to understand the many valuable "soft skills" that veterans bring to the workplace.

"Veterans bring skills to the table that you wouldn't necessarily put on a resume," he said. "Things like discipline, leadership, communication, and problem-solving."

In Heath McNaughton's case, it was a matter of helping him to take what he knew and capitalize on it.

"Heath realized he had a lot of things to bring to the table with his HR background. He took it and ran with it," said Semsel.

McNaughton now works at Hobart Service as a program director and instructor.

"Dan goes above and beyond," said McNaughton. "He recommended upwards of ten different jobs to me. Being plugged into different people in the community can be priceless."

In support of the Connection, GESMV will host the annual Empowering Independence Concert on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Fraze Pavilion. The concert, which will feature award-winning music acts, honors veterans and Connection program participants.

U.S. 35 at I-75 reopened following closure due to high water

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 2:15 AM

UPDATE @ 2:57 a.m.

Both directions of U.S. 35 have reopened after briefly closing due to high waters Saturday, according to dispatchers.

Waters have receded in the areas of James H. McGee and I-75, however, water is still high in some portions of U.S. 35.

EARLIER REPORT

East and westbound U.S. 35 at I-75 is blocked while crews address heavy flooding in the area. 

Crews were dispatched to the highway around 2 a.m. on reports of impassible roads and heavy flooding. 

Initial reports indicate traffic is being diverted from U.S. 35 to I-75 north, according to initial reports. 

Callers into this newsroom have also reported high waters on eastbound U.S. 35. at James H. McGee.

We will continue to monitor highway conditions and post updates here.

Dayton fire crews encounter heavy flames at reported house fire

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 2:43 AM

Dayton fire crews are responding to a house fire on Adelite Avenue Saturday morning. Jordyn Huffman/Staff

Dayton fire crews are responding to a reported house fire Saturday morning.

Firefighters were dispatched to a home at the intersection of McCall Street and Adelite Avenue, according to dispatchers. 

Our crew reports heavy flames are coming from the structure as crews attempt to enter the house. 

Dispatchers said it is unknown if anyone was home at the time the fire was reported. 

We are working to learn what caused the fire and if anyone was injured as a result.

More than 50K may be without full coverage at Miami Valley Hospital

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 10:49 PM

As of midnight Sunday, more than 50,000 people in the Dayton area may not have in-network insurance coverage at Miami Valley Hospital.

UnitedHealthcare and Premier Health Network have not reached a new agreement for employer-sponsored and individual plans. The current contract expires April 30 for premier hospitals and facilities.

Premier and UnitedHealthcare extended its contract through Dec. 31 for those with Medicare Advantage plans. This includes about 7,000 members in the Dayton area, said Tony Marusic, communications director for UnitedHealthcare.

If an agreement for employer-sponsored plans is not reached in the coming weeks, Premier physicians also will be out of network beginning May 14. Also on May 14, both Premier hospitals and physicians would be out of network for UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid plans.

Some members may be able to receive in-network coverage for a period of time if the contract expires, such as members who are pregnant or undergoing active treatment for a serious medical condition, such as cancer. 

In the event of an emergency, UnitedHealthcare said its members should go to the nearest hospital because emergency services are covered as an in-network benefit.

For more information about employer-sponsored and individual health plans, visit www.myuhc.com. For Medicaid health plans, visit www.myuhc.com/communityplan

HAVE A TIP? Contact the 24-hour line at 937-259-2237 or newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Springfield police investigating body found in duplex as suspicious

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 10:47 PM
Updated: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 11:12 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- (UPDATE @ 11:05 p.m.) Police are trying to determine whether the woman lives in the duplex where she was found dead. They are also trying to determine her age. 

The Clark County coroner's investigator has arrived.

INITIAL REPORT

Springfield police have opened a death investigation after a woman’s body was found in one side of a duplex in the 200 block of North Race Street.

The discovery was called in about 7:52 p.m. and police at this point are treating the death as suspicious.

We have a crew on the way. We will update this developing report as we get information.