Consider a Veteran for the Job!

    Several years ago, TSI Applications worked with the Veteran’s Corporation and the West Mesa Community Development Corporation to help provide employment to veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, we ran into an issue that prevented us from launching the program. However, veterans are still close to our heart. During the research phase, we came to see how desperate many of these men and women were who were returning from combat. Many veterans were under-employed, working at fast food restaurants and other low paying jobs. Many were living at or below the poverty line (see the statistics). Here were well trained men and women who had laid their lives on the line for us and when they returned home they found themselves standing on the corner with a couple of dollars in their pockets and civilian clothes that didn’t fit. Our veterans were treated no better than someone just released from prison.

It’s hard enough for our service men and women to return and try to settle into “normal” lives again, adjusting to life in the civilian world, without having to worry that they can’t find a job to provide for themselves or their families. Many employers may not see it at first, but these veterans are qualified to work in many different fields. They have been trained to listen to and obey their superiors, to be hard-working, and to stick to a task until it is completed. They know what loyalty and team-work look like in action in ways that many of us may never experience. These character traits and ethics are the stuff that great employees are made of.

Veterans May Be More Qualified Than Non-Veterans

My advice to any company seeking employees is to actively search out veterans. Most are grateful for the opportunity to work and will normally serve their employers with the same dedication to duty that they demonstrated while in the service. They bring so much to the table and they deserve the opportunity to get a job they can be proud of and that will provide for them. The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/11/11/youngest-veterans-struggle-most-with-unemployment-data-shows/) interviewed employers and came to the conclusion that most of these employers have “unique talent needs that former troops would be more qualified to fill than non-veterans…Employers said the top five skills that veterans bring to civilian jobs include self-discipline, teamwork, attention to detail, respect and leadership, in that order.” What a testament to how bringing a veteran into your company to work can strengthen your business. Do you have a position in your company like this? One where leadership skills and diligence make all the difference? You should consider hiring a veteran, and see how they can make that job role shine within your company.

USSVonSteuben    The reason veterans are so close to my heart is this: I am one. I spent four years stationed on a ballistic missile submarine based in King’s Bay, Georgia. After decommissioning the USS Von Steuben (SSBN-632) in 1994 at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, I transferred to shore duty as an instructor at Naval Submarine School in Groton, Connecticut. My seven years of Naval experience gave me the tools that I needed to run this company. It was not the position I held in the Navy, but the instilled values of integrity, attention to detail, and discipline that enabled me to persevere. TSI Applications was built on the work ethics I learned while serving my country.

Hiring A Veteran

When evaluating a veteran for a position, remember to not just focus on their practical job skills. Instead, look at who they are and consider where they come from. There are not many openings for submarine mechanics in the civilian world, but that doesn’t mean that same person doesn’t have the skill set for the position you are trying to fill. I am thankful that Intel saw something in me. The person who hired me looked beyond my job description and understood what a veteran could bring to the table. They could have gone down the list to the next person, but then we both would have lost out on a valuable employee/employer relationship. We both got a lot out of my time spent working there. If the Fortune 100 companies have tapped into this valuable resource, shouldn’t you give it a shot?

When you are seeking your next employee, remember the veterans!

If you are not in a position to hire a veteran, please consider supporting the Wounded Warrior Project  instead. They have many programs that provide support to veterans in all areas of their lives.