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Business Trends – January 15, 2012

Navy’s “Auntie” JEMS Makes Connections

Photo: David Croxford

When military families and retirees arrive in Hawaii, they often lack the local knowledge and connections that are so important to finding the right job. The Navy has tried to remedy that situation with the Joint Employment Management System, one of Hawaii’s largest job banks.

“You know how people have aunties who know where the jobs are? For the military, we are trying to make that connection,” says Susan Hodge, director of JEMS, which began 25 years ago. She says the service is also valuable to local companies because it helps them find good employees without recruiting fees.

On an average day, the JEMS website lists 2,100 jobs, says Hodge. JEMS also holds an annual job fair, last held in September.

In general, the service is open to members of the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force communities, including active-duty personnel, family members with a military I.D. card, retirees and their family members with military I.D., and Guard members and reservists.

One company that relies on JEMS is Ventura Technology Enterprises Ltd., a Hawaii-based company that specializes in information-technology services for government and businesses.

Operations associate Jonathan Tan says Ventura has had a table at JEMS’ job fairs for the past four years. He says many of the people who attend the fairs have specific military skills and experience, and understand government contracting.

“(Candidates) aren’t just seeking a job but are looking for another career where they can apply their industry knowledge to make a difference,” Tan says.

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