Employment initiative pays off for Minn. Red Bulls


An intensive effort by the Minnesota National Guard to assist soldiers in landing jobs after returning home from active duty has paid off.

MPR reports most of the 2,700 guardsmen from the 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division that returned home from the Middle East last spring are employed.

When the last of the Red Bulls returned in May, WCCO reported about 20 percent faced unemployment. The National Guard says only 35 members are still looking for work.

Guard officials took a more aggressive approach to prepare troops for reintegrating back to civilian life.

Representatives from Target, U.S. Bank, Best Buy, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce spent two weeks on a military base in Kuwait to help prepare soldiers for the job hunt.

Although the approach proved successful, MPR says the unemployment rate for Minnesota's military is just over 8 percent, nearly a percentage point higher than the unemployment rate statewide.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a federal agency that works with employers looking to hire service members, assisted more than 3,000 employers hire more than 11,000 Minnesota military members in 2011.

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Remaining Red Bulls arrive this weekend

The last wave of troops returning from an 11-month deployment to Kuwait will land in the Twin Cities Saturday and Sunday. They're among 3,000 Minnesota National Guard service members making their way home after supporting Operation New Dawn in Iraq.

Minnesota's Red Bull infantry begins returning home

More than 200 Minnesota National Guard soldiers returned to the state Sunday after nearly 11 months overseas. It's the first wave in a series of such homecomings. More than 2,700 troops are expected home in the next three weeks.

The last of Minnesota's Red Bulls return home safely

The Minnesota National Guard unit known as the Red Bulls is back on home soil. 2.700 Guard members returned to Minnesota after a year-long deployment in Kuwait. Their mission included escorting U.S. troops withdrawing from iraq. The last of the Red Bulls returned this weekend with happy homecomings at armories across Minnesota.

20 percent of returning Red Bulls looking for work

Nearly 3,000 members of the Minnesota National Guard are making their way home after serving in Kuwait, but hundreds of them still need jobs. MPR reports Minnesota corporations and the National Guard are working to help the service members find work.