If you're facing challenges regarding finding dedicated, ethical, and hardworking employees – consider U.S. veterans. They possess professional experience, skills, and training to which most regular civilians don't have exposure. There is approximately 1.3 million active-duty military personnel, and, as of 2020, 18.5 million men and women are veterans. Yet, despite these statistics, the unemployment rate among veterans increased to 6.5% during 2020.
Around 200,000 men and women are transitioning from active U.S. military status into civilian life annually with help from the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). With that transition comes a broad range of knowledge and skills that benefits trade businesses of all sizes. For example, veterans have a track record of quickly learning new concepts and skills. That includes entering the workforce with specific trade skills that transfer into civilian work environments. There are many reasons why veterans make exceptional employees, the most notable being their diligence, problem solving, self-discipline, time management, and drive.
Additional qualities veterans display are:
Companies should also note that when they hire veterans, that comes with a tax incentive. The U.S. Federal Government sponsors a tax credit referred to as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). For example, suppose you hire a veteran with a service-related disability within one year of their discharge. In that case, companies can receive a tax credit of up to 40% of the employee's first $24,000 in wages.
Don't forget about how trainable veterans are! While serving their country, they had to adapt, develop, and learn continuously, which transfers to having abilities to:
Veterans know how to accept new responsibilities no matter their work environment. The expectations military professionals have fulfilled required a broad spectrum of skills, like fixing equipment, planning and implementing complex strategies, situational awareness, providing disaster relief, and so much more.
While there are plenty of good reasons why companies should hire a veteran, we can't neglect the short and long-term impacts. For example, when companies hire veterans, that helps them generate goodwill internally and outside the company by identifying and fulfilling talent needs, and creating a more diverse workforce. In addition, the long-term impacts include experiencing improvements to leadership, while simultaneously seeing improvements to employee performance and the company's bottom line.
Employers can support a veteran's need for job placement by first identifying which trade positions they need to fill, and how a veteran's training aligns with those needs. Hiring Heroes, an extension of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, has a handy Employer Roadmap to help employers hire veterans.
No matter whom you're hiring, identifying skillsets is a priority. Many veterans possess skills that translate into civilian jobs because they include on-the-job training, vocational education, and work experience. Examples for trades include large engine mechanics, electricians, plumbers, and more.
The Department of Labor (DoL) specializes in connecting companies with veterans' employment coordinators. These specialized services help companies expedite the hiring process. That's especially beneficial to those who want to take advantage of the WOTC.
Many job sites specifically target veterans, including:
Don't forget about local colleges and trade schools. These locations are home to many military professionals who continue their education and actively look for jobs after graduation.
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