Four Benefits to Hiring Veterans
By John Wagner, CareerCenter
Many Americans strongly support the idea that no veteran should have to fight for a job at home after they have fought for our nation overseas. Yet many veterans are doing just that, especially younger veterans who never worked in the private sector prior to their service.
Accelerated Learning Curve
The Department of Labor (DOL) has developed a brochure outlining ten excellent reasons to hire veterans [PDF]. Companies hire veterans in part because of many veterans' accelerated learning curve. Veterans demonstrate a unique ability to learn new concepts quickly, which can enhance an organization's productivity from day one. Leadership, teamwork and the ability to work within a diverse workforce are skills veterans learned while serving.
Thrive Under Pressure
Working under extreme pressure and duress are rigors every employer/employee with deadlines endures. Veterans thrive in this environment, they understand rigid scheduling and working with limited resources. Veterans appreciate the importance of following procedures; for example, health and safety precautions. Procedures are what enable an organization to exist. Veterans have experienced unique international situations and cultures and have used cutting edge technologies; these traits offer a company both a global awareness and the technological that savvy enterprises need to succeed.
Prove Their Mettle
Veterans, above all else, know what it means to do "an honest day's work." Veterans carry a track record of integrity, and many often hold security clearances that can be of benefit to employers. Most veterans have triumphed over adversity, proving their mettle in mission-critical situations that demand endurance, stamina and flexibility - soft skills which most companies just do not have the time or resources to teach.
Under the "Vow to Hire Heroes Act," employers can apply for and receive a tax credit ranging from $2,400 to $9,600 for hiring an unemployed veteran. The amount of the tax credit is based on criteria such as a veteran's length of unemployment and whether that veteran has a service-connected disability. Your Department of Labor Veterans' Representatives can pre-qualify veterans for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program.
The apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs that the GI Bill and the Department of Labor administer can make hiring a veteran a great deal for employers. On-the-job training programs normally last about six to eight weeks, while the apprenticeship program can lead to an associate's degree. Both of these employer-based training programs can be customized to meet industry skill needs and often foster collaboration between employers, schools, and the job-training system. Both programs provide employers some financial restitution toward the education and training of their newly hired veterans, and both provide industry leaders a voice concerning their industry's educational needs.
Hire a Vet Today
It's a great return on investment for your business. For more information, contact your local career center to speak with a Maine veterans' representativeNew Hampshire veterans' representativeVermont veterans' representativeMassachusetts veterans' representativeRhode Island veterans' representativelocal veterans' representative.
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John Wagner, a 26-year navy veteran, is a local veterans' employment representative with the Lewiston CareerCenter. He assists veterans with finding employment and connects businesses to veterans. Learn more at the Lewiston CareerCenter website.