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Transportation Logistics: Veterans Ready to Roll into this Accelerating Field

by Sarah Whitman, Contributing Writer

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Article Sponsored by: EPES Transport

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How UPS is Paving a Path for Veterans
UPS uses a wide range of tactics to recruit veterans. As the UPS Veterans Business Group Co-Chair in Atlanta, Knight networks with several veteran-affiliated nonprofits including American Corporate Partners, Hire Heroes USA and Hiring our Heroes, along with government agencies including the VA and the DOL. This networking helps UPS recruit candidates and educate them on the company’s history, mission and culture before they apply. “Our approach is to establish relationships with groups that have a direct connection to the DOD, DOL, VA and the larger VSOs such as American Legion, VFW and PVA,” Knight says.


In March 2013, UPS announced its involvement with the White House Joining Forces initiative and made a “Commitment to Veterans” by pledging to hire 25,000 veterans over a five-year period and to serve 25,000 employee volunteer hours with various Veteran Service Organizations. In April 2014, the company doubled its “Commitment to Veterans” and pledged to hire 50,000 veterans and serve 50,000 volunteer hours by the end of 2018.


“Our military outreach program will enable UPS to benefit from the strong leadership, technical and problem-solving skills of the men and women who have served in the armed forces, while at the same time fulfilling our corporate responsibility to provide employment opportunities and decrease the high unemployment rates for veterans,” Knight says.


But an effective veteran outreach is about more than just hiring veterans. That’s why UPS’s veterans initiative has four focus areas - employment, engagement, recognition and reputation.


“We are trying to increase the number of veterans who work at UPS and also trying to get our employees more engaged through our community service program with veteran- and military-connected activities,” Knight says. “We also want to improve the recognition of our UPS employees who have served our country in the military, and we want to enhance our reputation as a military-friendly employer.”
Veteran Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are a part of that goal to help veteran employees develop skills and learn more about UPS. BRGs are UPS employee groups that serve as an extension of the company’s broader Diversity & Inclusion strategy. “We have a broad scope, including employee recognition, employee mentoring, assisting service members with their transitions, assisting veteran-owned businesses, service-related activities and educating our non-veteran employees on the U.S. military,” Knight says. See the Military Transition News January/February 2016 article on Veteran Employee Resource Groups for more (http://www.civilianjobs.com/jan.feb2016_employment_resource_group1.htm).

Why Veterans and UPS are a Good Match
Knight says UPS believes a responsible corporate citizen supports the nation’s military and that UPS could not exist without a strong military that assures a stable economy and smooth global trade. That’s why UPS aims to create an environment that demonstrates internally and externally that it welcomes and values people who have served in the military.


“Employees who have served in the military, or are currently serving in the military, have always contributed to the success of UPS,” he says. “People who have served in the military make great UPS employees.”


Likewise, for veterans looking to start a logistics career, what better place to do so than a logistics company with 535 facilities in more than 120 countries?


Chester Montgomery, UPS SCS Government, Aerospace and Project Cargo (GAPC) Specialist is just one of many veterans who have parlayed their military logistics service into a civilian job. “During my time in the U.S. Army, I worked as a Transportation Coordinator where I planned and oversaw the movement of vehicles, personnel and cargo worldwide,” says Montgomery, a U.S. Army First Sergeant (1SG) Retired, Senior Transportation Sergeant. “Working in the logistics field gives you the opportunity to help others. Some examples are providing humanitarian aid, helping to ship school supplies and medical equipment. Having someone thank you for helping them is one of the greatest rewards you can ever have.”

Sarah Whitman is a Cincinnati-based freelance writer and editor. She frequently writes about career advice, creativity and design. You can connect with her via LinkedIn @SarahMWhitman.

 

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