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Army Reserve, Private Sector Join Forces to Create Training, Job Opportunities

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In its 106th year, the Army Reserve is focused on finding jobs for those who serve. NY1's Diane King Hall filed the following report.

It's called the Private-Public-Partnership Initiative, or P3I for short. The Army Reserve is joining forces with the private sector to create training and job opportunities for reservists who can hold down full-time civilian jobs, if they can find them.

"One of great parts about being in the Army Reserve is that I soldier on the weekends, but then I go to work in the week," said Sergeant First Class Jason Manella of the U.S. Army Reserve.

Lieutenant General Jeffrey Talley heads the Reserve and announced the initiative, urging corporations to hire reservists on the belief that it will help their bottom line.

"It holds great potential, not only for our citizen soldiers in the Army Reserve and the future readiness of all our forces, but for the continued economic and prosperity of our private sector," Talley said.

The initiative is an offshoot of an earlier program, which the Reserve said has been replicated across most of the armed forces.

Talley said 6,000 companies have already signed agreements to provide opportunities for soldiers and their families.

"We've hired to date, I think almost 60 soldiers," said Jay Mercer, human resources manager at Kenai Drilling. "We started in the employer partnership, so this is a continuation of that partnership."

The prior program was created to address a high unemployment rate among Army Reserve soldiers, which at the time was in the double-digit percentile.

You'd be surprised at the opportunities to network for a job. I saw one Reservist hand off a resume to a potential private employer right here in this room.

"It's a way for our company to give back," said Donna Abbate, manager of talent acquisition at ZenithOptimedia. "They offer up everything of themselves for our country, and we as an organization would love to give back to the people that serve us."

Providing opportunities for jobs, however, may not always translate into jobs. It will still be up to the Reservists to make that happen.

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