- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

The 2012 Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military® N-Se

by Heidi Russell Rafferty, Contributing Editor

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Article sponsored by URS

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Company profiles: A-C, D-M, N-Se, So-W

Below, please find employer profiles of the 2012 MVEs. The brief snapshots capture some of the highlights regarding why these military-friendly companies were recognized as winners, and why they are employers worth seeking out if you are a military-experienced job seeker.

National Truck Driver School/ National Heavy Equipment Operator School (Orange Park, FL):

National Training is a Professional Class “A” CDL Truck Driver and Professional Heavy Equipment Operator School. Many employees have worked there more than 10 years, some since the company was founded in 1978. National “is always looking for fresh talent, particularly veterans, to fill positions in our newly established military markets,” says Andrew Mcloughlin, admission and marketing director. During the last year, 34 percent of new employees were veterans. “We find many interested veterans through established locations on military installations,” Mcloughlin says. William Sims, education director and Navy veteran, is a 12-year employee and sums up the corporate atmosphere in three words: “autonomy, empowerment and trust.”


Navy Federal Credit Union (Vienna, VA)

Navy Federal forged into new areas in 2011. The company has reached out to the Base Realignment and Closure Transition Center in Crystal City, VA. The credit union also entered into the Army Spouse Employment Partnership to provide spouses opportunity to attain financial security and achieve employment goals. That program is part of the larger “Joining Forces” initiative sponsored by the White House to encourage veteran and military spouse hiring. The company has also expanded online candidate sourcing. In addition, it featured employment opportunities in its radio spots and on Navy Federal’s Facebook page and Twitter for the first time.


Newmont Mining Corporation (Greenwood Village, CO)

Newmont Mining has held job fairs with specific military units to find candidates with its needed skill sets. “For example, we worked with a National Guard cavalry unit to successfully hire 21 mechanics and truck drivers on the spot. This type of success is indicative of our commitment to hiring military members,” says Jayna Wiesemann, senior specialist of Talent Acquisition. The company is rolling out a military-specific Web portal. It has also committed to a number of military job fairs throughout its region and it has a dedicated military recruiter. Newmont also provides benefits in excess of USERRA requirements to ensure employees return after active duty.


Norfolk Southern Corporation (Norfolk, VA)

Norfolk Southern employs a broad approach to attract veterans, says Daniel MacKay, manager of Recruiting. The railroad participates in military-focused career fairs and local Transition Assistance Programs and advertises in military publications. The company offers an Operations Supervisor Training Program to transition veterans with supervisory experience into a supervisor role within its Operating Department. In various departments (mechanical, electrical, signals, transportation), the railroad offers paid apprenticeships that allow employees to become journeymen within two years. The railroad plans to hire a minimum of 300 veterans. Top five geographic hiring locations include Pennsylvania, Chicago /Midwest, Mid-Atlantic Region, Birmingham and Memphis. About 15 percent of 30,000 employees are veterans.


Northrop Grumman Corporation (Falls Church, VA)

Attracting veterans continues to be a high priority at Northrop Grumman, says Laurie Brown, corporate talent acquisition communications manager. Eighteen percent of new hires were veterans in the past year. Through December 2011, the company hired nearly 100 wounded warriors. Northrop Grumman is also active in the Military Spouse Employment Partnership. The company covers salary and benefits during active duty service and guarantees a similar position upon return. Many individual business sectors offer the VERITAS Employee Resource Group (Veterans, Employees and Reservists Inspired to Act and Support). Northrop Grumman has a Military Relations program that partners with military installations on transition.


Patterson-UTI Drilling Company, LLC (Houston, TX)

Patterson-UTI Drilling has developed a program called, “New 2 Industry,” in which the company has a goal of hiring a minimum of 40 percent veterans. “The program is the only way that candidates without prior drilling industry experience are able to enter at our company,” says Brent Hollenbaugh, manager of Recruiting. A veteran developed the training, which focuses on Internet, facility-led and hands-on activities. The company has recruited at 12 military installations. It also attends career fairs, and has developed a military recruiting video with a link through Facebook.


Puget Sound Energy (PSE) (Bellevue, WA)

Employees at Puget Sound Energy are excited about an affinity group for veterans. Rachael Brown, senior recruiter and group co-founder, says, “We had over 200 people ask to participate in our military affinity group, and out of those, I have had 50 volunteers to help with recruiting and even more with community outreach, and we only have 2,900 employees total!” The company held its first-ever Veteran's Day celebration, in which retired Army Major General Jimmy Collins spoke. The company also sponsors Hire America's Heroes. Multiple employees work to help veterans transition to civilian jobs. PSE hires almost all power generation workers from the military.


SAYtr (San Antonio, TX)

SAYtr, a woman-veteran-owned small business, specializes in transition leadership for Department of Defense changes such as the BRAC, installation consolidation, joint moves and mission realignments. As such, 100 percent of SAYtr employees have prior experience with the Department of Defense, including military, civilian and contractors, says CEO Tamara D. Say. The company has “expanded its footprint” by hiring military spouses and individuals with experience in both private sector and DoD. “We also see the firm as a family, and we're looking for people who wish to have that kind of work environment,” she says. The firm encourages work-life balance.


Schneider National, Inc. (Green Bay, WI)

Hiring military-experienced talent is part of Schneider National’s legacy, says Janet Bonkowski, PR manager. “That legacy began over 76 years ago with founder Al Schneider, hiring fellow Guard members from his unit as truck drivers,” she says. The company’s workforce of 18,200 associates includes office professionals, maintenance/shop, truck driving and warehouse roles. Schneider plans to hire 25 percent of its drivers in 2012 from the military. Recently, Schneider joined the White House’s Joining Forces initiative and committed to hiring 1,300 veterans by the end of 2013. Schneider devotes part of its careers site to jobs for veterans and has a team of military recruiters.


Scientific Research Corporation (Atlanta, GA)

Scientific Research Corp. is a defense contractor specializing in engineering services, and most of its work directly supports warfighters, says Bernie Still, director of Internal Operations. “Military-experienced personnel bring many skills to our company in addition to the obvious expertise with the weapons systems/programs and security clearances,” Still says. The company works closely with Transition Assistance Programs, searches veteran/military job boards, attends regional job fairs and asks veteran employees to recommend friends and former colleagues. Scientific Research is approximately 40 percent former military. In 2011, it hired 317 employees, 51 percent of which were veterans.


Sears Holdings Corporation (Hoffman Estates, IL)

Sears Holdings’ “Heroes at Home Program” has raised more than $21 million to help over 71,000 military families, and that’s just for starters, says Christina Dibble, program manager of Military Talent Acquisition. Its extensive partnerships include: Military Spouse Employment Partnership, Partnership for Youth Success, Armed Forces Employer Partnership Office, military transition assistance programs and alumni and officer associations. Its employee resource group, Associate Military Support Network, has more than 50 external relationships with local veteran organizations. Sears Holdings was among the first retailers to sign on to the White House’s "Joining Forces" initiative. It launched the Military Retail Leadership Development Program for those seeking retail management roles.


Company profiles: A-C, D-M, N-Se, So-W

The Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military serves to help military-experienced job seekers identify the top employers to target for civilian careers. MVEs are selected annually based on those employers whose recruiting, training and retention plans best serve military service members and veterans. More information can be found at


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