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)
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.

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Car crashes into the side of Sunlight Village counseling center in Dayton 

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 3:35 AM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 5:30 AM


JEFFREY BROWN / STAFF
(JEFFREY BROWN / STAFF)

UPDATE @ 5:30 a.m.:

Dayton police confirmed the driver of the vehicle that crashed into the side of a youth counseling center in the 3300 block of W. Third St. Saturday morning did not sustain any serious injuries.

The driver was traveling westbound when he lost control and jumped the curb, causing the vehicle to crash into Sunlight Village, a counseling and therapy center for young adults. The car then landed on its side after striking the building. No one was inside at the time of the accident.

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The property belongs to Robert Lyons and his wife Jmila, pastors of The Marketplace Movement church next door to the building.

Jmila said this is the second time a car has crashed into properties they own. About a week and a half ago, a car crashed through the brick wall displaying the sign in front of Marketplace Movement church, Jmila said. 

UPDATE @ 3:52 a.m:

A vehicle crashed into the side of a house in the 3300 block of W. 3rd St. Saturday morning. 

The car turned over on its side after crashing into the west side of the home.

An ambulance left the scene at approximately 3:40 a.m.

The driver’s identity and extent of injuries is unknown.

It is unknown if anyone was inside at the time of the accident.

Dayton police and fire crews on scene of a car accident into the side of Sunlight Village counseling center on 3320 West Third St. in Dayton.(JEFFREY BROWN / STAFF)

FIRST REPORT: 

We are hearing reports of a car crash in the 3300 block of W. 3rd St. with possible entrapment. 

According to Montgomery County dispatch, the 9-1-1- caller said the driver lost control and crashed through a house. 

Officers were dispatched to the scene at approximately 3:05 a.m. 

We are on our way to the scene and will update this story as more details become available. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com. 

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Power restored along U.S. 35 in western Montgomery Co.

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 12:23 AM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 2:36 AM

UPDATE @ 2:36 a.m.:

Power has been fully restored to customers in New Lebanon, along U.S. 35, according to a DP&L worker who was on scene working on the outage. 

The outage lasted for about 2 and a half hours and affected over 4,000 customers. 

It’s not known what caused the outage.

UPDATE @ 2:23 a.m.:

According to the DP&L outage map, the number of affected customers has dropped to 1,084. The estimated restoration time is 3 a.m.

UPDATE @ 12:35 a.m.:

The number of reported outages now stands at 2,101, according to the DP&L online outage map.

INITIAL REPORT

More than 4,000 Dayton Power & Light customers in New Lebanon, along U.S. 35, are without power and we're working to find out why. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: All eyes on Tropics, Alberto

According to the DP&L outage map, the outage is affecting 4,013 in the area of the Voyager Village Trailer Park and the Snickers Bar & Restaurant, between North Lutheran Church and Diamond Mill roads. 

An email to our newsroom describes a "complete power outage, lots of emergency vehicles" near the trailer park and the bar/restaurant. 

We will update this developing report as information becomes available. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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All eyes on the Tropics and Alberto; remnants could reach Miami Valley

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:36 PM

Subtropical Storm Alberto formed in the Caribbean Sea near Cancun Mexico Friday morning. The system is forecast to slowly strengthen as it moves into the Gulf Of Mexico, perhaps threatening the northern Gulf Coast around Memorial Day. There is also some potential it could influence the weather in the Miami Valley late next week.

Alberto, the first named storm of the Atlantic Ocean season, is forecast to strengthen as it emerges into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center brings the system to strong tropical storm strength before making landfall somewhere along the Louisiana to Florida coastlines, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.

Long range model tracks show that the remnants of Alberto could influence the weather here in the middle or later half of next week. The main threat for this area would be significant rain.

RELATED: 1st named storm of Atlantic season could hit Gulf states Memorial Day

There is still a lot to keep an eye on through the holiday weekend, Elwell said.

It also is important to note that your WHIO Weather App may alert you if the Miami Valley is placed within the uncertainty cone issued by the National Hurricane Center sometime this weekend. If you get that alert, it doesn’t mean to expect a tropical storm … but that there is an increased possibility of some influence of the storm.

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Fire causes ‘significant damage’ to farmhouse south of West Milton

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 8:51 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 11:55 PM

RAW FOOTAGE: Fire engulfs back of farmhouse south of West Milton

UPDATE @ 11:55 p.m.

Fire crews are expected to remain on scene into the early morning hours Saturday after a fire broke out Friday night at a Frederick Garland Road farmhouse south of West Milton.

“We were dispatched out to a structure fire fully engulfed,” said Ken Saunders of the Laura Fire Department.

Nobody was home at the time of the fire reported around 8:30 p.m., but the American Red Cross chapter will be contacted to assist the residents, he said.

(JIM NOELKER / STAFF)

The cause of the fire and estimated losses to the structure and contents are not determined.

“The damage is substantial,” Saunders said.

Although the department was able to maintain a steady water supply through tanker trucks and mutual aid from area departments, including Pleasant Hill, Ludlow Falls and West Milton, the age of the house posed a challenge, he said.

“Anytime that you’ve got an old farmhouse you’ve got repairs and updates that’s went on over time, so you’ve got ceilings over ceilings, plaster lathe ... that’s all worked against us.”

There were reports of pets inside the home, but Saunders said he was unable to confirm. 

UPDATE @ 9:30 p.m.

Family members were all able to escape a fire that broke out tonight inside a two-story farmhouse south of West Milton.

An hour later, the home was still burning with heavy smoke billowing into the sky, and crews were called from Arcanum to the scene to provide extra manpower.

FIRST REPORT

Crews were called tonight to a fire that broke out at a two-story farmhouse.

The fire was reported around 8:30 p.m. in the 11100 block of West Frederick Garland Road, according to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.

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According to initial reports, the back of the home was engulfed when firefighters arrived.

Mutual aid was requested from area fire departments, including Pitsburg, to assist crews at the scene.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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