Families and Work Institute
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Employers See Veterans as Great Talent Pool
Families and Work Institute announces VET Awards recipients
NEW YORK – April’s unemployment rate for veterans who have served since 2001 declined slightly but still remains above the national average at 6.8%, according to a report released today by the Department of Labor. Clearly there’s a need to improve job prospects for these ex military folks trying to transition to civilian life, especially for women vets who saw their jobless rate climb to nearly 8% last month.
Employers have been stepping up to the challenge – and taking advantage of all veterans have to offer as employees. And today Families and Work Institute (FWI) is recognizing those organizations by announcing the winners of the Veteran Employment Transition Award, or VET Award.
The three VET Award winners are – Bon Secours Virginia Health System, JPMorgan Chase, and USAA.
Collectively, these employers hired and successfully integrated thousands of veterans thanks to their innovative programs and focused efforts to help military and their families transition to civilian life, and in turn helped their own bottom lines by employing these skilled and dedicated employees.
“Vets bring to the workplace their discipline, life experiences, cultural exposure, team mentality, adaptability and the values of mission before self and loyalty,” says Admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a FWI board member. “The VET Award winners and honorable mention companies recognize this value. I am looking forward to hosting the VET Award Symposium and hearing first hand from these best practice companies.”
FWI’s board of directors created the VET Awards, formerly known as the Work Life Legacy Military Awards, to single out the top employers hiring, retaining and promoting service men and women and their families. The employers applying for this annual competition represent a wide range of industries and locations across the country.
By sharing the best practices and success stories from these employers, FWI is expanding the options for the 1 million former military members expected to transition into the civilian workforce by 2016. These programs are also relevant to members of the National Guard and Reserves and the families of those who have and continue to serve.
The three winners provided a host of programs and initiatives focused on veterans and their families, including everything from mentoring veterans to training managers to help ex military employees succeed and advance in their careers.
Bon Secours Virginia Health System was recognized for a host of initiatives including strong onboarding programs for vets; company wide programs supporting women, particularly women vets; and the implementation of a veteran retention tracking system that found a 90% retention rate within the first year of employment.
“Employees with military experience represent the best of Bon Secours,” said Jim Godwin, Vice President of Human Resources, Bon Secours Virginia Health System. “They are truly wired to serve and bring a broad range of leadership, team-building and organization skills to our workforce, as well as a strong work ethic and appreciation for diversity.”
JPMorgan Chase was recognized for a host of initiatives including training program for recruiters and hiring managers called Military 101 that explains how to understand military resumes, a management development program that led to vets securing managerial roles at the firm, and a homeownership initiative to help veterans and their families own and stay in their homes.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the Families and Work Institute for a third consecutive year. While we believe that we have made a positive difference in the lives of many military families, we also know that as our nation winds down from over a decade at war, the need to help our nation’s veterans and military families make a successful transition back into civilian life is greater than ever.” said Maureen Casey, director of Military and Veterans Affairs for JPMorgan Chase. “Working together, non profits, government, educational institutions and private employers can ensure that we not only do the right thing for our nation’s heroes, but also benefit from the skills and experience they bring back from military service.”
USAA was recognized for a host of initiatives including strong mentorship and sponsorship programs for vets; multiple vet-focused hiring events and social media outreach; and a dedicated website focused on former military job seekers.
“Veterans know how to get the job done,” said Dana Simmons, USAA executive vice president of human resources and a 33-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “They not only make great employees, but they embody USAA’s core values of service, loyalty, honesty and integrity, and have the ability to effectively perform in a dynamic working environment. They also have solid leadership skills, world experiences, professionalism, technical training, problem-solving skills and they are mission focused. We hope more and more companies and public agencies make it a priority to hire those who have given so much in service to our country.”
Why is there such enthusiasm among employers for hiring vets?
“These winning employers recognize that the military instills the very characteristics that help employees succeed at work—team work, a positive, can-do attitude, problem-solving, exceeding expectations, and being of service,” says Ellen Galinsky, president of the Institute.
In addition to these three Honorees, six Honorable Mention Awards went to these companies for their exemplary work in hiring and advancing members of the military community: Bank of America; Capital One; Cornell University; The Walt Disney Company; Goldman Sachs; and Verizon Communications.
All nine best practice companies will talk about their initiatives at the Families and Work Institute’s VET Award Symposium on June 18th in New York City.
About Families and Work Institute
The Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that studies the changing workforce, family and community. As a preeminent think tank, FWI is known for being ahead of the curve, identifying emerging issues, and then conducting rigorous research that often challenges common wisdom and provides insight and knowledge. As an action tank, FWI conducts numerous studies that put its research into action and then evaluates the results. Its purpose is to create research to live by. For more information, visit www.familiesandwork.org, like us on www.Facebook.com/FWI and follow us on Twitter @FWINews.