NEW CASTLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Del. -- You might not be aware that there is a person in each state whose job is to work on behalf of all Airmen, Soldiers and Family Members of that state's National Guard to assist them with employer support issues.
In Delaware that person is Christine Kubik. Her job as an employer support specialist is funded through the National Guard Bureau, and she has worked in this role for over four years.
ADVICE FOR JOB SEEKERS AND JOB CHANGERS
Christine emphasizes she can provide all Delaware National Guardsmen with employment assistance either directly or through her connections with other resources.
Christine spends a significant amount of her time providing advice for job seekers, and job changers.
"My office is all about employer support. We offer help if you want to change jobs, are under-employed or unemployed. I have worked with dozens of individuals who ask for help - I talk with people of all ages who have a wide range of education and skills, and help in a variety of situations," said Christine.
She frequently engages with a number of employers in Delaware, directly contacting their personnel offices, informing people about jobs fairs, and following up with companies and individuals she consults with to see what works well, and what can be improved.
"I help facilitate connections and referrals to potential employers, and in many ways I serve as an employment matchmaker."
Christine says a good resource for veterans who reside in Delaware is our State of Delaware Division of Employment & Training (commonly called 'DET'); http://det.delawareworks.com/.
The division offers a wide variety of one-stop integrated employment and training services that includes Veterans Services Assistance for anyone who has received a DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Veterans who register with DET obtain valuable guidance, plus the advantage of having priority status as a veteran for state government jobs.
For residents of Pa., N.J., Md. or elsewhere, each state has a veterans' assistance website listed on http://www.jointservicessupport.org/ESGR/careers.aspx.
A related and very helpful Delaware government website, according to Christine, is JOBLINK: https://joblink.delaware.gov/
How to reach Christine Kubik:
- Main office: Normally Mon.-Tue. and Thur.-Fri., Smyrna Readiness Center; office (302) 326-7582; business cell (302) 354-4423.
- On Wednesdays she works 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from an office in Delaware Air National Guard HQ, Building 2600, at the New Castle ANG Base. Enter the lobby, turn right, take a few steps and go through the first door.
"I look forward to hearing any concerns you may have," said Christine.
Airmen and Soldiers can easily obtain guidance about job protections and obligations from Christine.
She represents the National Guard interest with ESGR Delaware, Delaware's Committee for Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve.
According to federal law, you have certain job protections and obligations as a member of the uniformed services.
USERRA - the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 - covers all reservists, to include all National Guardsmen.
This federal law establishes rights and responsibilities for uniformed service members and their civilian employers.
There are certain obligations you have as an employee. Among those obligations, Guard and reserve members are required to inform your employer in a timely manner of your military duty, and to return to work in a timely manner.
A good overview of USERRA is here: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/vets/userra/userra.asp.
Christine provides each service member with a wallet card as a handy guide when they join their unit, and often again when a member is faced with a possible deployment.
This card lists the specifics of the USERRA Reemployment Timetable, plus such topics as: military leave of absence, prompt reinstatement, accumulation of seniority, reinstatement of benefits, training or retraining of skills, and protection against discrimination. The timetable pertains to annual training, unit training assemblies (drills, or makeup drills), exercises, military education, and active duty call-ups, to include overseas deployments.
Christine also mails to every employer a booklet, titled 'A Guide to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.' It provides robust information to civilian employers to help them in personnel decision-making when it comes to their part-time Citizen-Soldier or -Airman.
Christine states that resolving problems that may arise from time-to-time with employers can involve three steps.
"It starts with the employee communicating with their employer. Next, I may need to communicate with your employer. Third, an ESGR ombudsman may need to engage with your employer," said Christine.
"To the many employers who support their military employees who serve our state and nation, thank you," said Christine. "In Delaware and across the United States, we're all in this together."
For more information on civilian employment assistance provided to Delaware National Guard members, go to http://www.delawarenationalguard.com/members/CEA/.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994
USERRA, according to the website www.esgr.mil
, is intended to ensure that persons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard or other uniformed services:
- Are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service;
- Are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty; and
- Are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service.
The law is intended to encourage uniformed service so that the United States can enjoy the protection of those services, while maintaining a balance with the needs of private and public employers who also depend on these same individuals.
USERRA protects the job rights of individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to perform service in the uniformed services to include certain types of service in the National Disaster Medical System and the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service.
USERRA affects employment, reemployment and retention in employment, when employees serve in the uniformed services.
USERRA also prohibits employers from discriminating against past and present members of the uniformed services, and applicants to the uniformed services.
The role of ESGR is to inform and educate service members and their civilian employers regarding their rights and responsibilities governed by USERRA. ESGR does not enforce USERRA, but serves as a neutral, free resource for employers and service members.
ESGR's Ombudsman Services Program provides information and mediation on issues related to USERRA.