P1 Group is among a Select Group of Companies Partnering on a Program to Help Ft. Riley Army Soldiers Benefit from a Data Science Platform that Guides Military-Civilian Employment Transition
Active-duty service members at Fort Riley, KS, one of the largest U.S. military installations, will receive data-guided recommendations for upskilling and employment opportunities as they prepare for the transition to the civilian workforce, thanks to a new pilot program. Using a career advising platform built by data services firm AstrumU®, the program will harness the power of data science to analyze the skillsets of thousands of active-duty soldiers, helping them to identify right-fit career opportunities across a network of some of the region’s largest employers.
The new initiative, called the Junction for Military/Civilian Innovation (JMCI), is the result of a public-private partnership between the city government of Junction City, KS, a network of regional employers and education providers who have committed to participate, and U.S. Army leadership at Fort Riley.
P1 Group is one of the employers in the program’s initial cohort, along with JE Dunn Construction, T-Mobile, and Evergy.
The launch of the new initiative will help employers meet talent gaps by tapping into the thousands of active-duty military members who are beginning to transition into civilian roles. Soldiers who opt in to the new platform will receive data-driven recommendations for “last-mile” education and training through a network of local universities.
Service members will be able to enroll in the program through military transition services like programs from the Army Transition Assistance Program, which provides resources to help Soldiers successfully transition into the civilian workforce.
Leawood, KS-based strategic consulting firm Initiatives, Inc. served as the lead public-private partnerships advisor for the project.
P1 Group Operations Manager Casey Walsh and Troy Carlson, President & CEO of Initiatives, Inc., have a long standing relationship developed in promotional and marketing efforts for the Kansas City Building Trades.
Through this relationship, Troy learned of P1 Group’s significant presence in the region, and recognized the benefits of having P1 Group on board as one of the initial companies to participate in the program.
“P1 Group recognizes that the foundation of continued success is having the highest qualified associates in the industry,” Casey said.
“This program will provide access to proven leaders and motivated individuals who know the value of working as a team,” he noted.
“Prospective soldiers will be matched to specific positions, skill gaps will be identified, and training will be provided prior to being considered for employment at P1 Group,” he said.
JMCI was formed through the initiatives and advisement of: The City of Junction City, Ft. Riley, AstrumU, Initiatives, Inc.
P1 Group, JE Dunn Construction, T-Mobile, Evergy
SOLDIERS AND MILITARY FAMILIES: More than 200,000 men and women in uniform leave the military for civilian careers every year, a transition process that can be complex and difficult to navigate. This program gives them an option to be “trained up” during their final year of service for a specific position to which they seem to be well-matched.
EMPLOYERS: Participating employers have highly targeted access to quality individuals with skills and experience that is valuable to existing in-demand roles.
COMMUNITY: Every year, about 2,000 soldiers transition out of the Army at Fort Riley, and only about 8% stay in and around Junction City. If that number increased, Ft. Riley would have more good jobs for veterans and military families, ultimately become a destination for people getting ready to transition out.
“AstrumU’s platform is an artificial intelligence engine that allows for the translation of an individual’s education, training, and even experiences, into a requisite skill set that can be used to align people to job roles,” AstrumU General Manager John Kaiser said.
John says the entire process might look something like this:
For example, the program will look at critical roles available at P1 Group – project managers, various kinds of specialists, or support roles.
“Where a lot of veteran hiring programs have fallen short in the past is that they look for soldiers aligned for certain roles, and can’t find any,” John said. “That’s because they’re looking for a 100 percent match, and that’s almost never going to happen.”
“We’re looking at people who have the soft skills – smart, disciplined, can work on a team, accustomed to highly variable situations – but may lack the technical skills to do a specific job.”
“Say an individual is 75% aligned,” John explained, “and they have 12 months before leaving the military. We provide education and training programs for a specific role to close that gap.”
“The goal is to identify a cohort of soldiers that match P1’s in-demand roles,” John said.
Casey says the "win" goes at least three ways: soldiers who might otherwise struggle to find the right employment as a civilian have a program that prepares them for a specific job; the employer has targeted access to quality individuals with skills and experience; Junction City keeps more of the military that transition out, enriching the community and making Ft. Riley a destination for those transitioning out of the military.
“We believe this program could become one of the most prolific sources of human capital for many employers in the region,” Casey said.
“Using AstrumU’s data engine to identify individuals and fill gaps in specific skill sets, this program will provide firms with candidates who are far more likely to be hired - and succeed,” he said.
“This program could redefine how we seek qualified people to fill our human resource needs.”
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