Many thanks to our soldiers! Yes, today is Veteran’s Day in Omaha, and many other places as well. On this Veteran’s Day, we honor those brave men and women who willingly take on the responsibility for our safety and protection – often at great cost. This is very important. Going further, what about the cost of living once these individuals return home? Everyone appears to be struggling in this current economical situation with a discouraging unemployment rate to match. However, according to Bill Briggs of NBC News, those brave men and women who risked all for us often struggle more than we once they return home. According to the NBC News article, recent data showed Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars face even greater unemployment than the remainder of the country; at a rate of nearly 10% compared to roughly 7-8% for the US as a whole.
However, there is a possible light at the end of the tunnel for many soldiers. According to figures published by G.I. Jobs, the rate of Veterans as new hires is up to nearly 14% compared with less than 6% in 2003.
Recognizing the unique skills and abilities of military veterans, many US companies are seeking to increase the number of veteran workers on their payroll. One company, USAA Financial Services, ranked among top companies by G.I. Jobs. USAA began a program known as Combat to Claims that trains recent Veterans for a career in claims adjusting. The self-discipline and order inherent to many in the military culture makes these individuals a good fit for such a career as they are able to incorporate these traits into their daily duties.
Other high-ranking “military friendly” companies include Deloitte, General Electric, CSX, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe. To put this into perspective, so far this year, Amazon.com hired 600 Veterans; they were ranked 89th. T-Mobile came in at 71. Makes one wonder how many they hired! According to the report, some believe now that these companies have realized the benefit of hiring military members they must also more actively recruit said individuals.
Part of the issue may be the current economy. In the report, the suggestion is made to build programs similar to those which recruit college students.
The focus of the report is businesses with annual revenues of at least $500 million, which are graded based not only on recruiting Veterans, but also on success (in recruitment) and retention. A high rank on the list appears a coveted achievement as several companies, such as Intel and Siemens, are vying for spots in the top 100. Together, these two companies hired over 1500 Veterans in the past two years. According to the NBC News article, an agency known as Orion, which specializes in placing certain military personnel in civilian jobs, is assisting these companies to develop new programs aimed at hiring more Veterans.
*Results of the annual report can be found on militaryfriendly.com.