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O*NET in Action:  Nebraska

"O*NET OnLine in Transition Assistance Programs at Offutt Air Force Base"

Nebraska Workforce Development, Department of Labor, LMI Center


Summary

Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska, provides a comprehensive 5-day Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for personnel leaving military service. As part of this program, the Nebraska Workforce Development's Labor Market Information Center presents information on career exploration, finding employment, and training opportunities in the civilian job market. Recently they have been using O*NET OnLine to help TAP participants relate their skills and military experience to appropriate occupations and to learn about a wider range of career possibilities in the civilian sector.

How is O*NET being used?

For more than two years, staff at the Nebraska Workforce Development's LMI Center have been providing pertinent labor market information to participants in Offutt Air Force Base's Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Monthly TAP sessions run for 5 days and include 50-75 participants with a wide range of ages and levels of military experience. Many will be seeking civilian employment or further education in Nebraska and other States after they leave military service.

As part of their presentation, LMI Center staff demonstrate how O*NET OnLine can be used in making the career transition from military employment to the civilian sector. As a starting point, LMI Center staff downloaded a Defense Department crosswalk between the Military Occupational Classification (MOC) and the new Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). After sorting it by MOC codes and titles, they printed copies, which TAP participants use to find their military occupation and its related SOC codes and titles. The LMI presenters then show TAP participants how to use SOC titles and codes to identify occupations related to their military experience in O*NET OnLine, which is also SOC-based.

Military personnel can thus tap into the entire range of O*NET occupational information to explore career possibilities in the civilian sector. Because the TAP sessions do not have Internet connections, the LMI staff have developed a Microsoft PowerPoint slide show using O*NET OnLine screen captures. The show illustrates, step-by-step, how participants can use O*NET as a job search and career exploration tool, including using O*NET to obtain language for writing résumés. Most military personnel have Internet access, either on the job or in Family Support Centers, libraries, or local One-Stop Offices.

Who is your target population?

Persons leaving military service and seeking employment in the civilian sector. TAP program participants include retirees and individuals separating from the military after completing their term of service. Their ages range from early 20s and up. Their military experience varies widely as well.

What kind of results is O*NET helping you to achieve?

O*NET OnLine helps TAP participants relate their military job experience and skills to a wide range of occupations in the civilian sector. Participants learn what kind of information is in O*NET OnLine and how to find and use it. Once they are familiar with it, they can use O*NET OnLine as a readily available, long-term resource in their career development.

What are the related program initiatives?

O*NET OnLine is only one of many resources used in the LMI Center's TAP presentation. The presentation provides military personnel with a comprehensive explanation of available labor market information and how it can be used in the job search and career planning process. The presentation draws on Nebraska Explorer, a website that describes and links to a wide variety of pertinent local, state, and federal resources. The TAP slide show demonstrates how to use Nebraska Explorer to find the projected growth and average wages of selected occupations in Nebraska and in other States. Participants also learn how to use Nebraska Explorer to find links to salary calculators and comparative cost of living information. The LMI presentation also provides information on Internet sites where participants can find job listings, post résumés, and prepare for interviews. In a conversation with two of the TAP students, one student commented, "Every day of TAP has answered some of my [job search] questions." The other student responded, "Every day my stress level has been reduced."

Is your product, program or service available for others to use?

Copies of the PowerPoint slides used in the TAP presentation are available from the Nebraska Workforce Development's LMI Center (address below). The file contains 71 slides; O*NET- specific slides are numbers 8-18. The MOC-SOC crosswalk can be downloaded from the Defense Department's website at: http://www.odb.asmr.com/ See What's New for the latest crosswalk information. Nebraska Explorer is on the Web at:http://www.dol.nebraska.gov/nwd/center.cfm?PRICAT=3&SUBCAT=4Z0

What other strategies make your product, program or service successful?

TAP presenters use humor to introduce the presentation and add a light touch to the very serious business of a career transition. Their presentation focuses clearly on resources that can help meet real needs and concerns of a diverse audience. Because many TAP participants will relocate outside of Nebraska when they leave military service, the presentation includes resources widely available across the States. Many participants simply are unaware of these resources or how to find and use them. The Nebraska Explorer website makes finding them much easier.

Do you have other pertinent information?

The National O*NET Consortium is working with the Defense Department to complete a MOC to O*NET 3.0 occupational crosswalk. The Nebraska Workforce LMI Center also uses O*NET material as part of its Rapid Response effort with employers.

Contact information.

Mary Findlay or Jane Sutherland
LMI Center
Nebraska Workforce Development, Nebraska Dept. of Labor
PO Box 94600
Lincoln, NE 68509-4600
telephone: 402/471-2600
e-mail: mfindlay@dol.state.ne.us or jsutherland@dol.state.ne.us


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