The Veteran Job Board Sweeping the Country

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When Sgt. Bryan Wiggins got back from deployment to Iraq, he was not expecting to fight a financial battle. But he had to find a way to pay for fixing his family’s broken down car and their old house. The 23-year old Camp Pendleton Marine was set on solving the problem by working, so he turned to Hire Patriots, an online job bulletin board, started by a Carlsbad couple.

Wiggins looked for jobs on the website’s one-day job board geared to military members who want to earn extra cash in their off duty hours. He took on 240 day jobs in his off time over three years, mostly helping families move and paid off his family’s bills.

Since then Wiggins, now 26, transitioned out of the Corps after eight years of service and now runs his own company SolRey West, which installs solar panels.His company posts career jobs on Hire Patriot’s website and he volunteers as a board member of Patriotic Hearts, the nonprofit which runs the job board.

“I want everyone to know about Hire Patriots–how they help,” Wiggins said.

Wiggins is one of 350,000 area military members and civilians who use each year to post jobs and get them, according to founder Mark Baird.

But the number of veterans looking for jobs on the site outnumbers those posting, so Baird is reaching out to community residents and businesses to post jobs.

“We have one big problem: There are never enough jobs posted. Sometimes as many as 75 local military members will apply for the same job.”

The website’s one-day job postings range from helping area residents with repairs, cleaning and chores to painting, hauling and care taking.

“The job board is a free community service for our military and it’s a way for residents and businesses to hire local Marines and sailors or their spouses,” Baird said.

Hire Patriots also has career job postings for full time jobs from entry level to management in diverse industries sponsored by several hundred companies across the country.

Baird and his wife Tori started the online job board in 2004 after a Marine asked him for a job at his carpet cleaning business. Baird, whose father served in the Navy and whose grandfather and uncles were Marines, wanted to help but didn’t have any work. Then he got innovative idea for a new veteran job board.

It began as in 2004 and drew 15,000 visits in the first few months. The website expanded to include other branches of the military and the name changed to By 2007 the site was getting 40,000 visits per month.

Initially, when our San Diego area Marines and sailors got re-stationed or exited the military, they contacted the Bairds and asked if had local jobs in their areas back home. So for the past five years the Bairds have focused on creating local job boards in communities across the country and Hire Patriots is now in 40 states.

The Bairds has written two books based on a their unique approach to solving veteran unemployment, “An American Crisis: Veterans’ Unemployment” and “The Patriotic Business Plan: Strategies for Sensational Success.”

The Bairds has been recognized for their efforts with a number of awards including The Congressional Medal of Merit, President’s National Leadership Medal and LEAD San Diego’s Visionary Award for Creating Economic Development.

Hire Patriots is a wonderful program for any group, club, NPO, church, or business to bring to their community. It helps active duty, veterans, residents, and businesses by stimulating the local economy. — Hire Patriots will build you a customized website. It can have our One Day Off Duty job board, and a Careers job board for veterans too. Our non-profit will do this for free if necessary, in order to advance the employment of veterans. (Our costs are $600 if you can make that donation or any part of it. If you cannot God Bless you. We will be gd to assist you.)

“In the thirteen years since we started the Hire Patriots program, tens of thousands of US veterans have been hired;” said Baird, 64, who has served as lay pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA and runs a ministry for homeless veterans in Oceanside, as well.

Visit and Mark Baird/ [email protected]/ 760-730-3734

Copyright © 2017, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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