- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

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

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

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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.


Safeway Inc. (Pleasanton, CA): Safeway wants veterans for a variety of roles in grocery stores, distribution centers, manufacturing plants and corporate-level offices, says Patrick Mireur, Senior Recruiter, Retail Talent Acquisition. Its 2014 JMO/NCO Management Program prepares junior military officers and noncommissioned officers to become Store Managers, First Assistant Store Managers, Warehouse Supervisors and Transportation Supervisors at grocery stores and distribution centers. Safeway also will fill jobs at retail grocery stores, distribution centers, manufacturing plants and corporate offices. In November 2012, Safeway signed an agreement with the Employment Support of the Guard and Reserve. Safeway has Veteran Employee Resource Groups at corporate headquarters and Southern California Vons Division office.


SAIC (McLean, VA): SAIC is a leading technology integrator with a strong commitment to solve or undertake the country’s most significant problems. In 2014, SAIC expects 25 percent of all new hires to be veterans, says Lauren Darson, Media Relations Specialist. Military-experienced hires can sign up for the Veteran Sponsorship Program, which matches them with veterans who have been at SAIC for some time. SAIC has a formal 60-to-90-day internship program for wounded warriors, focusing on three business areas: Material Control Tech, Logistics Analyst and Training Specialist. And the Reservist Support Network assists those recalled to active duty for an extended time during a war, campaign or expedition.


SAYtr (San Antonio, TX): One-hundred percent of SAYtr employees have prior Department of Defense service, including military, civilian and contractor, says CEO Tamara D. Say. SAYtr has played a key role during the past decade in the Department of Defense, through the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center. “We are now working on expanding our footprint into the National Park Service, Wildlife and Fisheries and USACE,” Say says. She encourages work-life balance. “As a small firm, we allow employees to create the job package that is right for the individual, with opportunities to customize benefits packages,” she says.


Schneider (Green Bay, WI): With operations and opportunities across the United States, Schneider anticipates new hires in all areas; however, its greatest area of opportunity is for professional truck drivers, says Janet Bonkowski, PR Manager. “From traditional over the road routes to opportunities in our Regional, Dedicated, Bulk Chemical, Expedited/Team and Intermodal areas, Schneider plans to hire 25 percent of its drivers in 2014 from the ranks of the military,” she says. Schneider provides a mentor to newly hired veterans. It is also involved in Marine For Life programs and the 100,000 Jobs Mission. By the end of 2014, Schneider plans to add 250 veterans into its VA-approved Apprenticeship Program.


Southern Company (Atlanta, GA): Many veterans are immediately qualified to take on a growing number of roles at Southern Company, including positions in Line Operations and Maintenance, Power Plant and Nuclear Operations, as well as Security and Information Technology, says Linda Sykes, Specialist, Military Programs. Southern actively recruits veterans for jobs at new and existing company facilities, including the cutting-edge integrated gasification combined cycle facility in Kemper County, MS, and the new nuclear power units in development outside of Augusta, GA. The company partners with military base Transition Assistance Program managers and the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve to identify qualified veterans for job matches.


Sprint (Overland Park, KS): Sprint looks to veterans, Reserve members and family members to fill jobs in technology, management, retail and customer care, says Summer Dean, Recruiting Supervisor. Among its many military-friendly initiatives, Sprint offers a veteran-focused Employee Resource Group called “Veterans and Employees helping others Through Sprint.” It has more than 800 members and supports families of Sprint employees when they are called to active duty. Sprint is involved with national military organizations such as Business Executives for National Security and the Association of the United States Army. In 2013, Sprint partnered with iHeartRadio on the iHeartRadio Show Your Stripes Campaign, which addressed unemployment among veterans.


Strategic Communications (Louisville, KY): In 2013, Strategic Communications attended employer days and job fairs in Fort Lee, Fort Campbell, Fort Knox and Indianapolis. “We plan to increase the number of veteran-focused events in 2014 in areas where we anticipate additional business development,” says Paige Reh, HR Director. The company is a premier provider of communication, data and video solutions for growing businesses. All employees receive individual training tailored to their job role (technical, sales, management, etc.). “We also provide management with helpful tips/training on dealing with employees who may be transitioning from military to civilian life (i.e., those suffering from PTSD),” Reh says.


Systems Service Enterprises, Inc. (SSE) (St. Louis, MO): SSE is an Information Technology and Learning Services Company, serving commercial and government markets. The company hires veterans for its Courseware Training Programs and Network Services Team and any government and/or aerospace contract or assignment requiring technically qualified personnel, says Billy Gulledge, VP of Government Services. “For more than 50 percent of our hires over the last five years, we have intentionally sought military personnel...They bring specific technical experience, discipline and work ethic that serves our needs,” Gulledge says. SSE has Vice Presidents of Business Development and Government Services with distinguished military careers, who advocate for SSE in the military community.


TMC Transportation (Des Moines, IA): In the time-sensitive business of transportation, it is of utmost importance that drivers arrive at their destinations on time and safely. And TMC Transportation finds that veterans possess the work ethic sought in a professional driver, says Cheryl Freauff, Driver Recruiting Manager. TMC has a state-of-the-art training center and provides fast-track training for transitioning veterans with a transportation MOS. “For those employees who currently serve in the National Guard or Reserves, we are committed to getting them home for drill or other military commitments,” Freauff says. TMC also offers a VA-approved OJT program. More than 30 percent of new hires in 2013 were veterans.


Top Guard Security (Hampton, VA): Top Guard provides uniformed, unarmed and armed private security services management. It posts jobs to interest veterans through Fleet & Family Services, Marines4Hire and Veterans Values Veterans. “Top Guard has been consistent in our support of our officers, developed longevity-based Employee Morale programs and controlled labor costs enabling us to offer higher wages,” says Christopher G. Stuart, Vice President. Top Guard’s recruiter, Karlton Gantt, is a veteran who recruited during his enlistment. He works with Fleet and Family Services at all Virginia military installations. He also attends military-targeted job fairs at schools, including ECPI University, Tidewater Community College and Thomas Nelson Community College.


Transocean Inc. (Houston, TX): If you’re interested in exploring “the last frontier” - the deep ocean - take a look at Swiss company Transocean Inc. This international company provides offshore contract drilling services for energy companies and is seeking high performers from the military, says Lisa Mullins, Global Recruitment Manager. The company focuses on deep water and harsh-environment drilling, and maintenance positions are available. Veterans make up 15 percent of the employment force with the company investing more than $100 million each year in industry training. Four global training centers are in Houston, TX; Aberdeen, Scotland; Brazil; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


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

Return to May/June 2014 Issue