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How the Partnership for Youth Success Program Works

How can does a soldier plan for his or her career?
How can does a soldier plan for his or her career?
©iStockphoto.com/carlofranco

In the midst of difficult economic times with soaring unemployment rates, the opportunity to get a guaranteed interview with a company of your choice is tempting, indeed. That's why the U.S. Army uses this hook to help recruit new enlistments.

While youth facing graduation may feel that it's an ideal time to join the military and spend some time serving their country, the ambitious know it's also a critical point to start preparing for a long-term career. These paths don't have to be mutually exclusive. That's why the Army started the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program for regular Army soldiers, Army reserve soldiers and ROTC cadets. Another stated goal of the PaYS program is to reconnect the Army with America and its business community.

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Specifically, the PaYS program helps give soldiers a leg up for securing a job after they've completed their military service. Through the PaYS program, the Army seeks to establish partnerships with corporations, companies and even public sector employers. These organizations agree to give interviews to particular soldiers upon their release from service if they meet the qualifications for the positions.

So, what do the partnering organizations get for their participation in the program? Many want to help in the effort to encourage enlistment. But companies all stand to benefit from the partnership as they hope to secure a source of qualified candidates for new positions. The organizations that join recognize the value of Army training in the context of the work that soldiers might perform.

We spoke with Matt Luther, the National Military Recruiting Director at Cintas, who says that his company appreciates the work ethic of soldiers coming through the PaYS program. They have excellent customer service skills because of their military experience with people from diverse backgrounds. And, as Luther points out, a commitment to safety procedures is ingrained in soldiers, which helps corporations avoid liability problems.

Besides, by granting interviews to these soldiers, companies are by no means guaranteeing jobs. The Army can get you in the door, but after that, it's up to you to dazzle the interviewers.

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The PaYS program offers soldiers a chance to plan for the future.
The PaYS program offers soldiers a chance to plan for the future.
©iStockphoto.com/spfoto

Amazon.com, Cisco Systems, Best Buy, DELL, John Deere -- these are a few of the organizations that have partnered with the U.S. Army for the PaYS program. Local organizations include the New York City Police Department and the Baltimore County Police Department, among others. A recruit can choose among the full list of more than 350 organizations to pick the one that's the best fit. Using a database, the recruit also chooses a particular position within that organization (and in a particular geographic location) to interview for after the term of enlistment is up.

It helps that a recruit doesn't choose a PaYS partner until after he or she has selected what's called a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). An MOS is one's specific job within the military and can be anything from infantryman to health care specialist. Partnering companies list particular MOS's that will provide appropriate training for their individual positions. So, recruits can use the MOS when searching the database of positions to help find a job they'd be qualified for when leaving the Army.

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When signing up for PaYS during enlistment, the recruit gets a signed copy of the Statement of Understanding that lists the terms of the agreement. For the company to ultimately grant priority interview to a soldier, however, he or she must receive an honorable discharge, be awarded the MOS associated with the selected position, and meet other qualifications listed in the job description. The company also must have an opening in the particular position in order to grant an interview.

Not only does the program help match soldiers with jobs they'd likely be qualified for, but it gives the soldiers time to establish a relationship with the organizations early on. The Army encourages both the soldier and the company to foster a relationship with each other throughout the soldier's enlistment period. About six months before the end of a soldier's enlistment, he or she should contact the PaYS partner and ask about what's involved in the application. The soldier should complete the entire application and interview process before leaving the Army.

The companies that partner with the Army trust that the hands-on training of a soldier's MOS can help prepare an individual for a post-military job, as well as ensure a work ethic and discipline that will help make him or her a valued employee, no matter what the position is.

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Sources

  • Luther, Matt. National Military Recruiting Director at Cintas. Personal Correspondence. April 25, 2011.
  • U.S. Army. "The Army Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) Program." Partnership for Youth Success. U.S. Army. (April 25, 2011)https://www.armypays.com/pdf/GettingStarted.pdf
  • U.S. Army. "Benefits: Partnership for Youth Success." GoArmy.com U.S.Army. (April 25, 2011)http://www.goarmy.com/benefits/additional-incentives/partnership-for-youth-success.html
  • U.S. Army. "Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS)." My Army Benefits. U.S. Army. (April 25, 2011)http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Home/Benefit_Library/Federal_Benefits_Page/Partnership_for_Youth_Success_%28PaYS%29.html
  • U.S. Army. "Program Concept." Partnership for Youth Success. U.S. Army. (April 25, 2011)https://www.armypays.com/Partner/corpConcept.htm
  • U.S. Army. "ROTC PaYS Cadet Checklist." Partnership for Youth Success. U.S. Army. (April 25, 2011)https://www.armypays.com/pdf/CadetChecklist.pdf
  • U.S. Army. "Sample Memorandum of Agreement." Partnership for Youth Success. U.S. Army. (April 25, 2011)https://www.armypays.com/pdf/MOA.pdf
  • U.S. Army. "Sample Statement of Understanding." Partnership for Youth Success. U.S. Army. (April 25, 2011)https://www.armypays.com/pdf/ROTC_SOU.pdf

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