Maj. Gen. Max Haston, Tennessee’s Adjutant General, recognized Retired Marine Lt. Col. Buddy Smith, the principal of Moore County High School, for hiring Staff Sgt. Jason Gospoderek as the 2,000th Tennessee National Guard member employed through the Tennessee National Guard’s J9 Employment Team.
Staff Sgt. Gospoderek’s employment along with the 320 hires by Yates, LLC., represents a significant milestone in the nearly two-year-old Business Partnership Program assisting National Guard members and their families to find jobs across Tennessee.
“The employment team heard I was searching for a job and arranged an interview with the school,” said Gospoderek. “I basically was hired on the spot as the Band Director for Moore County High School with help from the Family Programs Employment staff.”
Gospoderek is a member of the Tennessee National Guard’s 129th Army Band and the director’s job at MCHS allowed him to use his unique military skills in a civilian capacity.
The Tennessee National Guard Military and Family Readiness Operations, under the Command of Lt. Col. Eric Goslowsky, and the employment team has successfully found employment for over 2,100 Tennessee Guard members and their families since inception just over two years ago.
More than 2,600 individuals have registered for assistance. Working in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Labor, local employers, various agencies, and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Tennessee continues to conduct one of the most successful National Guard employment programs in the nation.
“Fortunately, our Tennessee government works diligently to reduce the state unemployment rate every day and our Tennessee National Guard has also joined forces in this effort,” said Maj. Gen. Haston. “It takes the team work of a combined force to achieve the goal of meaningful employment for our service members and their families. While we recognize our 2,000th hire today, an average of 100 service and family members a month are being placed in large and small businesses statewide.”
Haston not only thanked the leadership of Moore County High School for hiring a Guardsman, but also recognized them for their support of 1st. Lt. Brad Sanders with the 1176th Transportation Company who is currently deployed.
Sanders is an Assistant Principal at MCHS and the Moore County School District is holding his position when he returns home from deployment. Additionally, students and faculty have put up a sign in 1st. Lt. Sanders’ parking spot that reads “No Parking, Awaiting a Safe Return for 1st. Lt. Brad Sanders.”
Also recognized during the program were Greg Persinger and Helen Bailey of Yates, LLC., which has been responsible for assisting more than 320 National Guard members obtain employment. Attending the ceremony from National Guard Bureau was Dinetha Thompson, program manager for the National Guard’s Job Connection Education Program.
Maj. Gen. Haston emphasized the goal of finding jobs and establishing long term careers was the cornerstone of the program. “Our Tennessee National Guard Employment Team is an incredible resource for members of the Tennessee National Guard and their families.”