By: Joshua Wilson, Corporate Relationship Manager
America’s Warrior Partnership is a proud recipient of the highest award (Platinum) from the Department of Labor for leading in hiring and retaining veterans. This award was created by the Federal government to recognize the efforts of businesses and organizations that hire and retain a certain threshold of veterans and provide dedicated resources to the military-connected employees that work for them. For us to be eligible for the Platinum Award, we had to retain at least 85% of our veterans, and at least 10% of our new hires had to be veterans in addition to having any two from this list: a veteran resource group, leadership program; HR veterans’ initiative; pay differential program; and tuition assistance program. America’s Warrior Partnership didn’t just meet those requirements, we trampled them. 80% of all of our new hires for the year were veterans, and nearly 50% of our organization is staffed by military veterans, in addition to military spouses. I’m proud to say that our board members are 75% military, and they kindly offer their time to veterans and military members throughout our organization. In addition to the mentoring program engaged by both the board and our senior leadership, we are provided pay differential for those of us who are active duty, and military spouse relocation aid for those who must travel. Further, America’s Warrior Partnership encourages job accommodations if needed, and provides professional development training internally and facilitates formal education externally. Lastly, America’s Warrior Partnership engages in personal recognition of military achievements as well as group building exercises to ensure moral is continuously heightened.
In addition to the honorable recognition of the Platinum Award, we also assisted our Corporate Veteran Initiative (CVI) pilot partner organizations with the achievement of the Gold Award for their business.
If your organization is thinking about starting a new military affairs program or has an existing one that needs revitalization, the Department of Labor Medallion program provides solid milestones for the resources and goals you should have for your military-connected employees. Recruiting and nourishing qualified new hire veterans will later result in those individuals serving as highly qualified leaders who will continue to recruit more veterans. As we always remind employers, the best recruiter of a veteran is another veteran. This is literally how I was recruited into my role at America’s Warrior Partnership, and one would be likely to find the same at other military-friendly organizations. In addition, the Medallion requirement for a dedicated resource group for veterans in conjunction with additional military benefits boosts the likelihood of retaining your organization’s veterans. Current career retention research indicates that retention of an employee increases when their employer offers them something that a competitor employer does not. Currently, only 500 of 5.6 million employers are recognized by the Department of Labor as being military ready. Therefore, this recognition is a great way to differentiate your company as veteran-friendly, and if you are an employer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the America’s Warrior Partnership CVI program, as we can assist you in seeking your qualification and how the application process works.
This year, the medallion-certified companies from all across the country were invited to Washington, D.C. shortly before Veterans Day to be recognized formally for their commitment to military members and their families. After the public ceremony, the companies were able to network and publicly champion their medallion as a symbol of their dedication to hiring military and to being veteran ready or friendly. The Department of Labor provides recipients with a certificate from the Secretary of Labor along with a digital image to be used for advertising, solicitation, and other business activity. At the ceremony this year, many great individuals were present and spoke from the Labor and State departments, but for me, what stood out was the speech from The Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, Major General Bierman. In addition to hearing him speak, audience members were given the honor of being allowed to catch an early peek of the latest Marine Corps recruiting video. Upon showing the extremely awesome recruiting piece, the General noted that the Marine Corps has about a 35% retention rate for first term enlistment Marines, which keeps the branch of service young and sharp as needed. However, this high transition rate makes it all the more important to society that service members have support integrating back into the workforce which is why encouragement of leading employers is a priority by the HireVets Legislature providing authorization for the program in 2017. As a single-term enlistment Marine myself, I am very grateful to my veteran friend and colleague, Scott Cambers, who encouraged me to join this organization because of what it does for veterans. I also greatly appreciate America’s Warrior Partnership and all of the employers out there who are thoughtfully observing their hiring and retention numbers to ensure veterans are well represented and placed in meaningful employment.
About the Corporate Veteran Initiative
America’s Warrior Partnership’s Corporate Veteran Initiative (CVI) empowers businesses to develop and implement workplace solutions to enable veterans to thrive in their careers and become valuable assets to their employers. The Corporate Veteran Initiative accomplishes this by providing businesses with insights, guidance, and training to improve engagement of veterans in the workplace through a three-phase approach: Assess a company’s current workplace culture; Serve veteran employees through a customized veteran-engagement program; and Retain veteran employees by providing long-term guidance and support for both the company and employees.
For more information about CVI contact Josh Wilson, 706-306-1283 or firstname.lastname@example.org.