Visit our Job/Career Resources for Veterans.
The media headlines reflect a bleak reality for returning vets: “As Wars End, Young Veterans Return to Scant Jobs”. These reports are echoed by employment statistics. According to Reuters, unemployment among recent veterans was at 13.3% in June 2011, more than four percentage points higher than the national average. More than 2 million military veterans are expected to transition to the civilian workforce by 2016.
As an organization committed to addressing the major issues in the changing workforce, changing families, and changing communities, Families and Work Institute (FWI) began to look for solutions a number of years ago. The first place we looked was through an ongoing award program we run with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Surely the winners of the Sloan Award for Excellence in Effective and Flexible Workplaces—a rigorous process created to identify cutting edge solutions—would have begun to create programs to attract, develop and retain service members transitioning into the civilian workforce and they had, which we described in a report.
But more was needed—we felt we needed to raise the importance of this issues with the many other employers connected to us—so we had speakers at conferences and conference calls to share best practices.
But still more was needed. First, we felt that employers should focus more on the assets that veterans can bring not just the problems. Admiral Michael Mullen, retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and member of FWI’s Board of Directors, puts it best:
Our veterans are returning home to a tough economy, and yet, they are of an extraordinary generation with great potential to continue to make a remarkable difference in the workplace.
Second, we felt employers needed to focus on the military family, not just the service member. Deborah Mullen, Military Family Advocate and member of FWI’s Board, emphasizes this:
The past eleven years of war have seen unprecedented service and sacrifice by our nation’s military families. Many have endured long separations fraught with anxiety over the safety of their loved ones serving in harm’s way. As these families return to communities across our country, we should recognize their service and sacrifice and make every effort to help them achieve a successful transition.
And so our Board of Directors created an Award—the Work Life Legacy Military Award—as a way of surfacing what some employers are doing for service members and their families and inspiring other employers to each take a small step to make a difference for those who have served us. As a research organization, there were stringent criteria, but they have paid off.
We are proud to announce the first round of winners, honorable mentions and promising practice spotlights:
Bon Secours Virginia Health System
For their model training program (recognized by the Naval School of Health Sciences) of 1,500 military radiology students that could lead to job opportunities in the health system after completion of military service; for their implementation of workplace flexibility to meet the work and family needs of transitioning employees and their families; for their management training and EAP programs that educate and support managers on how to assist employees during the transition from the military to Bon Secours; and for their monthly employee newsletter (Good News) that frequently highlights how military employees are integrated into the staff in a welcoming way, focusing on their value.
For creating Citi Salutes, a one-stop resource for the military community and workforce to access career opportunities, money management tools and financial capability resources; for the success of Citi’s North America Service Initiative, which has trained and mobilized more than 500 Citi employee volunteers in 14 sites around the country to assist transitioning service members and their family members; and for the mentoring programs established by Citi’s businesses and the company-wide Military Veterans Employee Network to provide new service member employees with experienced managers who can serve as guides during their transition to the civilian workplace and throughout their careers with Citi.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
For their comprehensive and coordinated approach that includes dedicated hiring teams and relationships with military bases, recognizing the unique assets and needs of veterans, Guard and Reserve; for launching the 100,000 Jobs Mission coalition with ten other firms (now grown to 59) to collectively hire 100,000 service members, including wounded warriors, by 2020, and raise national awareness of the issue; for their “high-touch” recruiting practice that ensures that every veteran applicant receives a call within five days to discuss their resume, opportunities and next steps; for developing and participating in training (The Corporate Battlespace—an Essential Primer for the Newly Hired Military Veteran) and mentoring programs to bridge the gap between military and civilian cultures; for promoting the economic growth and development of veteran-owned suppliers; for co-founding the Institute for Veterans and Military Families with Syracuse University that houses educational programs such as the entrepreneurship bootcamp for disabled veterans; and for supporting the tuition-free Veterans Technology Program at Syracuse’s School of Information Studies for post-9/11 veterans seeking careers in information technology in large corporations.
For their strategic partnerships with more than 30 veteran-focused organizations; for their Military Hiring and Transition Initiative and their Military Talent Management team—staffed and led by veterans—that is responsible for every aspect of their work from hiring, to on-boarding, to mentoring and professional development including a preferential hiring priority for veterans and military spouses; for creating rewarding entry-level hiring models with development opportunities like the Property and Casualty Claims Team for military members recently separated active duty; for building leadership training models such as the Junior Military Officer Career Development Program; for establishing complimentary support and culture programs such as VetNet—an internal community for veterans and military spouses; for their military acumen training targeting new employees and annual military training requirements for leaders; for benefit offerings assisting the military family such as military spouse Work From Home opportunities and flexible leave options addressing the specific needs of military family members.
For their pro bono consulting to organizations such as the USO on their Warrior and Family Centers, aligning Deloitte resources and expertise with military needs; for the Armed Forces and Ability First Business Resource Groups and the Veteran Practitioner Program that support veterans and their families by, for instance, pairing new hires with experienced practitioners; for their customized and flexible model for career development—Mass Career Customization—that meets the military community’s need for flexibility; for their liberal leave and benefits policy that allows Deloitte practitioners who volunteer or are called for service to honor their military commitments; for assigning a Deloitte buddy to each applicant to the Junior Military Officer Recruiting Program, introducing them to a forum of former JMOs working at the firm and offering chosen candidates positions within two days; and for their Wounded Warrior Spotlight, a monthly newsletter from their Talent Acquisition group highlighting the experiences and skills of these individuals to hiring managers and other leaders.
General Electric Company
For its goal to hire 1,000 veterans a year for the next five years; for the GE Veterans Network with its commitment to running 50 Transition Assistance Workshops in 50 cities in the coming year with one-on-one coaching by GE veterans who have successfully made the transition into the civilian workforce; for the variety of career paths GE has developed for veterans; and for its 10,000 member GE Veterans Network (reporting progress quarterly to the CEO) that recruits fellow veterans, serves as their sponsors, helps local leadership understand the value veterans bring to the workforce and supports the families of deployed GE employees.
Lockheed Martin Corporation
For having a significant proportion of their external hires in 2011 be veterans; for supporting more than 65 organizations that provide a variety of services including transitional housing and education for wounded warriors and employment and professional development resources, tools and direct assistance to veterans and their families; for raising awareness about supporting veterans, wounded service members and their families with a dedicated recruiting team within Corporate Talent Acquisition; and for their Transitioning Military Careers Website and “Military Connect” avatar and Group on LinkedIn.
For their Veterans Advisory Board that develops military and veteran employees and represents veterans’ issues to Senior Management; for their virtual outreach to service members overseas and their spouses allowing preparation time for the pending transition to the civilian workforce; for directly visiting military bases in their dedicated recruiting efforts; and for their specific EAP supports for military members and their families.
Promising Practice Companies
Bank of America
For their longstanding focus on financial education and services to the military community; for their dedicated team focused on recruiting military personnel; and for their generous partnering with nonprofits serving military service members and their families.
Bright Horizons Family Solutions
For their work with the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) to provide child care tuition assistance for military families; and for their “Bright Space” (children’s play and learning space) at the Raleigh/Durham airport serving deployed and returning military and their families.
Capital One Financial Corporation
For their contributions to and work with the Chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring Our Heroes” campaign and the “Hiring 500,000” campaign; for their dedicated military hiring team; and for the way Capital One leverages its ability to hire former military into the “associate” position and then trains them for success within the organization.
For their Transition and Mentoring training program targeting recent separations that helps prepare veterans for the civilian workforce; and for leveraging the program’s impact by developing a network of nonprofit military service organizations that will funnel qualified candidates into it.
For their offer of a free one-year premium Care.com subscription service to active duty military families during Military Appreciation Month; and for identifying a synergy between their staffing model and the employment needs of military spouses.
For the opportunities they provide for former military to expand beyond their military skill set into areas such as environmental sustainability (through the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County) and hospitality (through the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities being hosted at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in 2012).
Deutsche Bank AG
For their pivotal role in the creation of Veterans on Wall Street; for the manner in which they encouraged their vendors and business partners to focus on hiring former military members; and for their replicable public/private partnership with the Mayor of Jacksonville for connecting veterans with employment.
For their Foundation’s Military Spouse Fellowship Program; and for the financial education they make available on bases and military medical facilities through the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s Military Financial Education Project and SaveAndInvest.org.
For their Veterans Business Insight Roundtable and Veterans Recruiting Council; for their support of Workforce Opportunity Strategy (WOS) in placing groups of military veterans within their and other organizations; and for extending their Workplace EnABLEment program and Just-In-Time Toolkit for Managers to encompass military hires with apparent and non-apparent disabilities.
Northrop Grumman Corporation
For their focus on wounded warriors through Operation IMPACT and the Network of Champions; for the Webinar “From Battlefield to Workplace” they developed with ValueOptions to share with business leaders from other Fortune 500 companies; for the EAP program designed to address the unique needs of service members and their families; and for their formalized accommodations program that incorporates all new hires, military or otherwise.
University of Phoenix
For their practice of hiring former military as advisors and counselors to the large number of their student body who have military backgrounds encouraging their students’ educational success and their certification process for advisors working with military students.