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NEWS | Feb. 17, 2016

Private Public Partnership helped me, it can help you too!

By Maj. Ruth Castro

Soldiers possess great qualities that make them a valuable asset to any public sector organization. Even with these qualities, many Soldiers have a difficult time finding full time employment. Now, through the Private Public Partnership Office (P3O), Soldiers are able to get the assistance needed to find employment within organizations that seek individuals with the same qualities that these Soldiers already have.

“I believe that not knowing where to go or look for employment opportunities is the number one challenge for Soldiers,” said Mr. Juan DelValle, Army Career Employment Specialist, Fort Buchanan, PR. “Providing them with information on where to go for assistance and what services are available to them is the most important part of our job.”

The P3O develops, integrates and directs partner relations for the Army Reserve.  P3O partners with not-for-profit (NFP), for-profit (FP) and academic organizations to support the Chief, Army Reserve top priorities and the Army Reserve Mission of providing trained, equipped and ready Soldiers, Leaders and units to meet America’s requirements at home and abroad.

“We have over 15 private employers that assist us in placing our customers in their work force,” said DelValle, “In addition, we work with the Consorcio WIA offices, which assist in providing them employment opportunities.”

Establishing mutually beneficial relationships between the U.S. Army Reserve and private and public sector organizations is one of the goals of the Private Public Partnership. This relationship will help create opportunities for Soldiers to increase their readiness on the unit, leader, and individual levels: thereby enhancing their value to their families and communities and their readiness to protect and serve the American public.

The P3O on Fort Buchanan assists Soldiers in locating career opportunities in the local market; provides resume writing assistance; helps Soldiers enhance their interviewing skills; assists them with their employment application process to include referring them and following up with employers; in addition, they also provide information on training and credentialing opportunities available.

“When Soldiers, family members or Veterans come to my office seeking employment,” said DelValle, “I explain our program to include the three lines of efforts of the P3O program and then I ask them what their immediate need is.” After finding out the need of the customer, DelValle begins developing a plan of action with them. “We start working on their plan to achieve their short term goal and assist them with finding employment in the shortest time period possible through the private sector partners we have available.”

Sgt. Gabriela Echevarria, Computer/Detection Systems Repairer with the 276th Maintenance Company in Juana Diaz, PR, said she was desperate and needed help in finding employment. Echevarria had DelValle’s contact information from an orientation brief that he provided her unit during a family day.

“I went straight to his office, I was desperate and I didn’t have an appointment but he gladly took the time to help me,” said Echevarria. “I provided him with my resume and he helped me edit what was needed for the particular job position I was applying for.”

Since submitting her resume, Echevarria was hired with LINK ACTIV as a Call Center Health Representative and has been gainfully employed for about a month. “I would absolutely recommend anyone else that needs help with finding employment to Mr. DelValle,” she commented. “I will definitely visit Mr. DelValle again for any support on job or work matters. He was very efficient and he taught me a lot about resume building, especially how to translate my military occupational skills to the civilian world.”

Spec. Johnathan Sierra, Shower and Laundry Specialist with the 430th Quartermaster Company, Fort Buchanan, PR, has also benefited from using the P3O program.

Sierra was told that there was an office that focused on helping Soldiers build their resumes and was given Mr. DelValles number.  

“He helped me rebuild my resume and once it was updated, I started applying to different positions on USA Jobs,” said Sierra. “Before I updated my resume, I would apply for jobs but never got any calls back.” Sierra mentioned that once he applied to positions with his new resume, he began getting calls from companies. “Some of them would call and tell me that I didn’t qualify for the position because I lived in Puerto Rico and the job was in another state but at least there were calling me back,” continued Sierra. Sierra attributes the calls to his updated resume.

Along with rebuilding his resume, DelValle helped prepare Sierra for interviews.

Sierra then applied to Caribe Hilton. “I applied and got an interview with human resources. That same day I got interviewed with the front office manager and hotel manager,” said Sierra.  “Two days later they called me and told me that I was hired so I now work with the front office for Caribe Hilton.

Since I had a great experience, my wife is currently working with Mr. DelValle to update her resume as well. “I have recommended a few people from my unit to go and talk to Mr. DelValle and to get help rebuilding their resume,” said Sierra, “If I know they are not working, I recommend they go visit him.”

Sierra worked with Caribe Hilton for 8 months and is now on Active Duty stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.