Nicholas Espe, a Service Specialist with Siemens Industry in Beltsville, MD, and former Naval Nuclear Electrician's Mate, had the privilege to attend the launch event as a representative of Siemens Corporation. When Espe separated from the Navy just a few months ago, he had no idea he'd be visiting the White House on behalf of his new employer just a few months after beginning his civilian career. During his six years on active duty in the Navy, Espe was assigned to the U.S.S. Enterprise and stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. He also served on two deployments and visited ports including Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, Cannes, and Lisbon. When it came time to transition out of the Navy, Espe partnered with Orion International, a military recruiting firm that finds civilian careers for transitioning military professionals. Espe interviewed for several positions within Siemens Corporation through Orion, and started as a Service Specialist in Beltsville, MD in late December 2010. Espe said, "I choose a career with Siemens because it is a company that is rapidly expanding in terms of company growth, new innovations, and the opportunities that it presents. My position allows me to learn about HVAC systems and their controls in making everything operate together." "I am very glad I was invited to attend as a representative of Siemens," Espe said of his participation in the announcement of Joining Forces. While at the White House for the launch, Espe got the chance to meet the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus. Sitting only a few rows back from the podium, he was able to hear the announcement of Joining Forces by President and Mrs. Obama, as well as Vice President and Dr. Biden firsthand. "It was a very memorable moment that I shall not forget. I'm thankful I was given the opportunity," stated Espe. Vice President Joe Biden explained the goal of Joining Forces when he stated, "I have always said we have lots of obligations as a nation – but only one truly sacred moral obligation: to prepare and protect those we send into harm's way, and to give them every bit of care they, and their families, need when they return." Each of the companies participating in the initiative has pledged its support to veterans. The Siemens Initiative to Support Military Families will reserve ten percent of the more than 3,000 open positions in their clean tech industries for veterans. There will also be job training and mentoring available through an internal Veterans Network, in which Espe hopes to participate. Additionally, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club's Military Family Promise guarantees a job at a nearby store for all military personnel and spouses, employed at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, who move to a different area of the country because they or their spouse have been transferred by the United States military. And Sears' "PCS Promise" will provide transfers in the cases of Permanent Change of duty Station (PCS), retirement, or separation, depending on job availability and performance, for all military personnel and spouses employed at Sears Holdings. In the area of Education, Joining Forces aims to support the academic achievement of military children by helping schools become more responsive to their unique needs and to promote higher education institutions and programs that expand education opportunities, ease transferability for military-connected students, and expand job training opportunities for military spouses and veterans. Under the banner of Wellness, Joining Forces aims to call attention to the issues facing veterans and military families and expand access to wellness programs and resources for military spouses and families. For more information: Orion International --- About Orion: Orion International is the nation's largest military placement firm, founded in 1991 by five former Military Officers. Orion finds civilian careers for Junior Military Officers, Noncommissioned Officers, and Enlisted Technicians leaving the military, as well as veterans who have already transitioned from service but are seeking a career change. Orion provides career transition advice, resume assistance and interview preparation; and arranges interviews for positions that are a match with the veteran’s background, qualifications and desires. To learn more, please visit www.orioninternational.com.
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