U.S. Army recruiting officials are dusting off a 19-year-old program designed to guarantee young people help finding a job in the civilian world if they sign up for a term of service.
Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, commander of Army Recruiting Command, said recently that he was about to sign a deal with Bell to bring the major military helicopter manufacturer into the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program. The effort, launched in 2000, has agreements with about 900 companies to guarantee soldiers job interviews when they exit the service.
"I am a big advocate of it, and I have been pushing it hard," he said at a recent Association of the United States Army event.
When young people enlist in the Army, they can have PaYS assistance in their contract, Muth said.
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"It's a drop-down menu; you click on the company that you want to put into your contract and, when you are out of the Army in the next two, three, four, five or 20 years, you are guaranteed two interviews," he explained. "It is a powerful tool to have to be able to walk in after four years of being an [AH-64] Apache helicopter hydraulics specialist, to be able to go to Bell and say, 'Could I apply for a job.'"
The defense industry, in particular, is looking to bring in younger people as many in its workforce near retirement age, Muth said.
"The companies love this because what we give them is soft skills and, in many cases, hard skills -- this whole thing about maybe showing up to work on time or maybe coming back to work after lunch," he said. "Companies fight for this stuff all the time -- for the right attitude, wanting to win, being part of a team, communicating -- all of those things we provide, we give them."
Army recruiters have started placing a greater emphasis on making sure that Generation Z is aware of the wide range of skills it can offer young people.
On Veterans Day, the Army launched its new marketing campaign, "What's Your Warrior," which is intended to show young people that the service has many jobs besides infantry and other combat-arms specialties.
The first chapter of the new campaign focuses on Army jobs in science and medicine; signal; cyber; and air and space specialties. The approach is a shift from last year's "Warriors Wanted" campaign, which featured soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment and other combat units training for war.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.