- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Announcing The 2014 Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military® Ed-G
by Heidi Lynn Russell, Contributing Editor

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Article Sponsored by: Eaton, USAA, Sprint and Southern Company

Return to May/June 2014 Issue

Company profiles: A-Ba, Be-Cn, Co-Ea, Ed-G, H-Leg, Lev-R, S-Tra, Tri-X

Below, please find employer profiles of the 2014 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.


Edward Jones (St. Louis, MO): To serve the growing number of Americans needing long-term financial advice, Edward Jones seeks financial advisors to open more branch offices, says John Boul, Global Media Relations Manager. The goal - to hire 20,000 financial advisors by 2020. More than 1,300 veterans serve as Edward Jones Financial Advisors - 11 percent of the workforce. In 2013, the firm exceeded a hiring goal, offering contracts to 468 veterans. Edward Jones also has a first-of-its-kind training and mentoring program for veterans. James Weddle, Managing Partner, has signed a Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.


Enterprise Holdings (St. Louis, MO): Enterprise’s military recruitment efforts are supported through its membership in the 100,000 Jobs Mission and Joining Forces Travel Industry Coalition, as well as by maintaining an active presence at military hiring fairs throughout the country, says Pam Webster, AVP, Talent Acquisition. Enterprise is the largest car rental service provider in the world. More than 150 talent acquisition professionals seek applicants in local markets where there are military installations and transition centers. Enterprise provides formal mentoring programs, informal coaching programs and a Military and Veteran’s Employee Resource Group. In November, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation announced a $250,000 donation to the Fisher House Foundation.


Epes Transport System Inc. (Greensboro, NC): Epes Transport System Inc. is “a strong family-orientated company” that has been in business 83 years, says Melissa Davis, Director of Recruiting. “We have donated equipment to one of our approved schools in North Carolina that started a Truck Driving School on the base in Fort Bragg for veterans.” Davis says Epes actively recruits at military job fairs, in online publications and through its website. Veterans with comparable military driving experience and a Class A CDL can enter a training program without attending a school. The company also offers tuition reimbursement for candidates with no driving experience and a refresher reimbursement for those with older driving experience.


Exelon Corporation (Chicago, IL): Exelon’s utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 6.6 million customers in Maryland, northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2013, Exelon hired 280 veterans (11.3 percent of the total hires). Exelon also attended 42 military hiring events in 2013, compared to 21 in 2012, says Griffin Goldin, Sr. Analyst, National and Strategic Programs. Exelon has 18 sites approved for the On-The-Job Training Program, an alternative way to use the VA (G.I. Bill) education benefits. The company will attend at least eight Recruit Military career fairs in 2014. Exelon is also working to strengthen its relationship with the Wounded Warriors’ “Warriors to Work” program.


Express Scripts, Inc (St. Louis, MO): Express Scripts has a long commitment to supporting the military through its role in providing the pharmacy benefit in the TRICARE program. “Aside from our business relationship with the U.S. Department of Defense, Express Scripts understands and embraces the value service members and veterans bring to our workforce through the many skills and qualities instilled throughout their service,” says Patrick J. Christie, Manager, Military & Diversity Recruiting Programs. The company attends job fairs by Recruit Military, Hiring Our Heroes and installation-sponsored events. This year, it is creating the Veterans Employee Resource Group. Express Scripts provides three development tracks for individuals, frontline supervisors/leaders and emerging leaders.


FDM Group (New York, NY): FDM Group is committed to providing veterans not just with a job, but also technical and professional training that equips them with lifelong skills, says Monica Hogan, Marketing Coordinator, FDM North America. FDM specializes in three IT service areas: software development, project management, and office and application support. All former military employees receive three months of free IT training through the award-winning FDM Academy. Since the program’s inception, FDM has welcomed 71 veterans into the Academy, with six more booked to start in 2014 and 18 veterans currently working on site with clients as FDM IT Consultants.


Frontier Communications (Stamford, CT): Job opportunities exist in 29 states for everything from Customer Service, to IT, to Technicians at Frontier Communications, says Gregg Barratt, AVP Veterans Affairs. The company is one of the nation’s largest providers of communication services focused on rural America. Frontier is a member of the 100,000 Jobs Mission, and veterans or military spouses make up 11 percent of its workforce. Frontier also provides a special military onboarding and training video for all new military personnel and their family members. HR and recruiting staff go through training about veterans’ transitions to civilian life. And a retention tracking system is in place for veteran and spouse employees.


FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Danbury, CT): Veterans with experience installing, operating, maintaining, troubleshooting and/or repairing power plants bring a valuable skill set that enables success at FuelCell Energy. “In addition, we have hired or promoted military-experienced personnel to leadership roles where they have consistently performed well, demonstrating superior skill in leading and managing teams,” says Darrell Bradford, VP of Human Resources. The integrated fuel cell company designs, manufactures, installs, operates and services stationary fuel cell power plants. Overall, 15 percent of the workforce identified themselves as veterans in fiscal year 2013. FuelCell Energy provides new hire orientation training and ongoing technical training to Shop Floor personnel and Technicians.


GE (Fairfield, CT): More than 10,000 veterans are currently working in all of GE’s businesses. “They are a proven talent pool, and we have committed to hiring 1,000 a year (or more) through 2016,” says Kris Urbauer, Program Manager, Military Initiatives and Junior Officer Leadership Program. The GE Veterans Network assists veterans with the transition into the company. New employees receive a “buddy” to help with adjusting to the culture. GE’s Junior Officer Leadership Program is a two-year rotational leadership program, in which each participant goes through three different rotations to learn a business in depth before starting a full-time position.


The GEO Group, Inc. (Boca Raton, FL): The GEO Group is the world’s leading provider of correctional, detention and community re-entry services, with 98 facilities and 18,000 employees worldwide. In 2013, the company hired 651 veterans, up from 481 veteran hires in 2011, says Gina Larsen, Manager HR Marketing and Recruitment. The company lists job opportunities on more than 20 veteran-specific websites and attends half a dozen military recruiting events annually. It conducts multiple recruiting campaigns at transition centers. “The similarities between GEO and the military will make the transition for veterans easy, given GEO’s disciplined structure and collaborative culture; veterans assimilate quickly and easily into the organization,” Larsen says.


Groendyke Transport Inc. (Enid, OK): Groendyke Transport is one of the largest tank-truck carriers in the nation and has more than 80 years of expertise in liquid bulk shipping operations. Twenty percent of its employment force is former military, says Becky Hodgen, Communications Manager. Groendyke has a partnership through the Army PaYS program. It allows the company to begin a relationship with military personnel from the moment they sign up for a particular branch. The company was featured for its veteran recruitment in a special hosted by Larry King on the Discovery Channel. It is also a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Heroes to Hire.


Company profiles: A-Ba, Be-Cn, Co-Ea, Ed-G, H-Leg, Lev-R, S-Tra, Tri-X

Return to May/June 2014 Issue