From left, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Hansbarger, OCTA CEO Will Kempton and OCTA Executive Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development Paddy Gough.
The Southern California Army Advisory Council recognized the Orange County Transportation Authority on Monday as a military friendly employer for its efforts in actively recruiting veterans.
“We recognize the valuable skill sets, both technically and personally, that military veterans and members of the Guard and Reserve bring to an organization,” said OCTA CEO Will Kempton. “It is important we continue fostering our relationship with organizations such as the Southern California Army Advisory Council to help veterans learn the many career opportunities available in transportation.”
“It is a challenge, especially in today’s current economic environment, to make the transition from military to civilian life,” said Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Hansbarger, who also is a member of the Southern California Army Advisory Council. “We are proud to partner with employers, such as OCTA, to educate and prepare our veterans for this next chapter in their life.”
OCTA currently employs 124 veterans and honors those employees at an annual Veterans Day event. In addition, the agency reaches out to the military through:
- Participating in veteran recruitment events at least once a year at Camp Pendleton in San Diego
- Speaking at the Camp Pendleton Transition Assistance Program and providing career transition advice to members of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps
- Remaining engaged with local junior colleges and universities to assist veterans making the transition from the military into the academic environment
- Coordinating efforts with the U.S. Army Southern California Recruiting Battalion to assist Guard, Reserve and active duty soldiers make a transition from the military service to career fields in the transportation industry
“I know firsthand how these men and women feel,” said Paddy Gough, OCTA’s executive director of Human Resources and Organizational Development and a Marine Corps veteran. “I am proud to be a part of an organization that is veteran friendly and supports the transition of veterans into the civilian workforce.”
Gough is the co-chair of the Cal State Fullerton Military Relations Advisory Board and a member of the 2012 Veterans President’s Scholars Selection Committee. Gough also is an advisor to the American Public Transportation Association’s Marketing Committee’s Military Initiative Task Force, which is an effort to create stronger ties between APTA members and enhanced accessibility to military members, veterans and their families.