CHICAGO - The U.S. Army Reserve joined with Pickens-Kane, CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (CBRE), Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD) and Army and Air Force Exchange Service to launch public-private partnerships that will create employment opportunities for Army Reserve Soldiers. The joint initiative helps to strengthen the community, support Army Reserve Soldiers and their Families, and maintain a strong economy.

The signing ceremony today celebrated these industry leaders joining an alliance that allows organizations to recruit, train, and employ individuals interested in both serving the nation and pursuing a career in the retail, commercial real estate, and transportation and logistics industries.

"I'm pleased to officially begin an enduring strategic partnership with industry leaders CB Richard Ellis, Pickens-Kane, Sears Holdings and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service," said Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, Chief, Army Reserve, and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command. "I look forward to collaborating with our newest valued partners to achieve mutual goals to attract, develop, and retain a quality workforce."

The Army Reserve will work in a collaborative effort with these organizations to recruit, license, and offer training reciprocity to qualified Soldier candidates. Under the agreement, partners agree to interview and consider all qualified, participating Soldiers for employment.

The Army Reserve is collaborating with business leaders to develop staffing solutions to meet America's corporate demands and tackle the issue of workforce preparedness.

The initiative will also help the Army Reserve continue to meet the operational demands of the ongoing global war on terrorism.

In addition, the initiative aims to establish a process whereby employers and the Army Reserve may secure and share the talents of trained professionals. Employer Partners will benefit from the employment of men and women with Army values, experience and proven leadership skills.

Since its inception in April, the initiative has recruited many enthusiastic business partners including Northrop Grumman Corporation, American Trucking Associations, USAA, Con-way Freight, Schneider National Inc. and the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C. More than 300 national, regional and local businesses and agencies are in the process of formalizing a partnership with the Army Reserve.