The whole idea and inspiration behind 3 Goat is one thing - Helping great people find great careers.
I know what it is like to leave a career, one where people usually stray for their working life and venture into something new. You receive praise from some, hell from others, but mostly just head nods and saying 'that's cool. Good luck.'
From my research and speaking with various people around the country, there are absolutely zero groups, organizations, or departments working with their first responders on how to transition out of being a first responder, albeit EMS, firefighter, or law enforcement, into any career!
I am not a military veteran, but speaking with many military veteran friends, they state that there are a few organizations that help with career transitions (if you are one of these organizations, good for you! Reach out and contact me) but for the most part, they feel like they are, 'being rushed through a pen and forced to check boxes and sign papers saying they are ready for the world outside of the military when they really are not.'
Both veterans and first responders have one thing in common - they train to deal with scenarios that no one else wants to or can handle. They both work long hours with little pay (find me a first responder not working all the overtime they can or a second or third job) and when they either choose to retire or are forcibly pushed out of the workforce, they have very little places to turn.
Some may be lucky and be able to use their skills learned in their profession to jump into civilian life. Some may have contacts at a company who can help them land a great job. Some may have been fortunate enough to leave and truly retire.
However, that is not the case for all...
I will speak mostly from the law enforcement point-of-view, as that is what I know best. Please reach out to me with any corrections or updates on any other military or first responder roles.
According to the Indiana.gov Public Employee Retirement Fund (PERF) website, there are three ways you qualify for full (unreduced) retirement benefits under PERF if you are:
- 65 and have 10 or more years of creditable service under PERF and/or TRF,
- 60 and have 15 or more years of creditable service under PERF and/or TRF,
- 55, but under 60, and your age at retirement plus your total creditable years of service under PERF and/or TRF equals 85 or more (Rule of 85).
Sounds good, right? For the lifer first responder, it is. You plan on working in the same career for your entire life and when eligible you retire and go golfing every day. If that is what you want to do, then go for it! You are doing well.
What if you do not plan on working until you're 55-65? I received a call about a year ago from one of my best friends, a police officer, stating that he will reach his 20 years of service in about 4 years. He would be 44 and did not want to be a police officer much longer than that. He told me that all he knew was to be a 'cop' and nothing else and was truly scared of what would happen when he finally put his 20 years in.
Which, all of that is a lie, he has plenty of skills. Leadership, decision making, training, and he is pretty tech savvy, as well. But, there were no resources for him - *he had not written a resume since college, he was not familiar with the new technology field, and the only interview experience he has is when he was testifying as a police officer in court.*
It was very disheartening to hear him speak like this. Here was one of my best friends, who I would follow to Hell and back, who had trained me, who had mentored me, who had honorably put in his service and had nowhere to turn. His boys will be in college and his only options are to continue working as an officer or work security somewhere.
I told him I will look into the DoD, our surrounding contractors, and industry and try to get him some options.
Time goes by and we continuously speak, and I suggest some certifications, some free training, etc., to look into. At this same time, roughly early January 2018, I begin speaking to a close friend, mentor, and business partner about an idea for career transition for first responders and veterans, citing the story of my friend I mentioned a few paragraphs above.
After venting and brainstorming together we realized a few things…
There are a ton of openings in the cyber security/information technology world right now. With the advent of IoT and buzzwords like 'hacking' and 'cyber threats', every company is starting to utilize cyber security divisions in their threat against cyber-attacks. We cannot fill these positions fast enough!
We started asking ourselves a few questions, a few of which were:
Can we obtain a pool of people who, with some training, could fill these cyber security roles?
Do we currently have millions of cyber security jobs not being filled?
Are we doing something to help out communities, first responders, and veterans?
The idea began to come together...
We pitched the idea back and forth and we began pitching the idea to people who we thought would at least listen. Surprisingly, the most common question was "there aren't services out there like this already?" We even had people fact check us and do their own independent research and they even came up with zero results.
I contacted multiple people in all facets of first responder roles and veterans and pitched them this idea of 3 Goat’s non-profit organization:
A group that would focus on recruiting, training, certifying, and ultimately placing forced/early retired first responders and veterans into a job market that needed jobs filled. We could work on specifically tailored resume writing, interviewing, and how to utilize their previous skills transition into this new field.
We could work with companies who needed these jobs filled, obtain their support, and help front some of the cost for investigations, training, and other administrative duties. We could hand deliver excellent candidates who were trained not only technically but had years of life experience to accompany them.
We would work on expanding and having delegates in different areas of the United States to represent each branch of the military and each aspect of first responders. Our delegates could empathize with their respective branches. They would know EXACTLY how each candidate was feeling both their highs and their lows.
The kicker - we would only do this if it were zero cost to any of our applicants.
We also wanted to be selective with our candidates. We only wanted individuals who were actively looking for a second career and willing to put in the work. We were going to be about quality, not quantity. First responders and vets who had the will and drive to continue educating themselves, put in the time and effort, and work for change.
As this began to unfold, we began to notice a grimmer outlook that was facing many veterans and first responders...living life after you no longer wear a helmet or wear a badge (more on that in upcoming posts). 3 Goat’s mission is to help these individuals face this new life head-on with the tools they need to truly be successful.
If you want to learn more about 3 Goat’s Non-Profit organization, how you can help, or if you are a veteran or first responder who is looking to enter or transition careers please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and talk to us today.
*his words, not mine*