- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Announcing The 2014 Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military® Tri-X
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.

Triple Canopy, Inc. (Herndon, VA): Founded by U.S. Special Forces veterans, Triple Canopy provides mission support, security and training services in support of the U.S. federal government in high-risk, complex locations throughout the world, says Katy Pultz, Marketing Communications Supervisor. “Due to the challenging scope of work we perform, Triple Canopy will continue to seek military-experienced talent in 2014 to exceed the required expectations of the U.S. government,” she says. Veterans make up 80 percent of the workforce, and former military personnel fill key leadership positions across the organization. The employee-owned company attends job fairs nationwide and advertises available positions on veteran-focused websites.


Troops to Teachers - Kentucky (Frankfort, KY): Troops to Teachers Ð Kentucky is a federally funded program assisting eligible military personnel to become public school teachers in “high-need” schools. Wayne A. Eccles, Jr. is a Program Coordinator who is seeking veterans in Kentucky. “We pay up to a $10,000 bonus for agreeing to teach for three years in a high-need school. We have an 80 percent retention rate after five years. The Kentucky Teacher Retirement System has one of the best retirement systems in the state,” Eccles says. Eccles maintains a presence at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, and he presents information to Transition Assistance Programs. He also attends every veteran-focused job fair in the state.


United Rentals Inc. (Stamford, CT): United Rentals provides construction equipment rentals. One of its successful recruitment channels is a veteran work-study program, sponsored through Workforce Opportunity Services for Service Technicians. In 2013, United Rentals implemented the groundbreaking 12-week program at its Center of Excellence in Irving, TX, says Laura Zattola, HR Director, and Gloria DeJesus, Corporate HR Generalist. After intensive technical training, veterans go through work rotations at local United Rentals branches. Graduates are offered positions across the branch network. United Rentals is sponsoring Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities, which focuses on providing extraordinary dogs to wounded veterans. It has raised nearly $70,000 to supply these service dogs.


University of Phoenix (Tempe, AZ): Veterans at the University of Phoenix fill a variety of roles, with the majority working directly with students as enrollment advisors, academic counselors, finance advisors and faculty members, says Meghan Almaas, Communications Specialist. For 2014, Apollo Education Group has a goal of filling 20 percent of open positions with veterans or veterans’ spouses. The university continues to acquire new partnerships with military-related organizations and other participating schools. They include the National Guard Association of the United States, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, Military Police Regimental Association, Non Commissioned Officers Association and American Society of Military Comptrollers.


URS Federal Services (San Francisco, CA): URS Federal Services will continue to add military-experienced employees worldwide, says Rhonda Lynott, Director, Talent Acquisition and Diversity. URS is a leading provider of engineering, construction and technical services for public agencies and private sector companies. In 2013, 44.3 percent of new hires were veterans. The company’s recent military-friendly efforts include the creation of a military outreach team. URS also has a Military Spouse program and created an online Vet community via its Corporate Yammer site (similar to Facebook). In addition, URS has purchased an online military translator for its career center. The company plans to revamp its military website page in 2014.


USAA (San Antonio, TX): USAA is a financial services company formed by military officers in 1922 and is dedicated to the financial well-being of military members and their families. “USAA has committed that 30% of its new hires will be veterans and military spouses,” says Mike Kelly, Executive Director of USAA Veterans Initiatives. USAA attends more than 100 job fairs and networking events each year, advertises job openings on social networks and conducts outreach to wounded veterans. Additionally, USAA has participated in numerous best practice sharing summits and will launch a best practices website in partnership with the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes team. Since 2006, USAA has hired more than 8,100 military veterans and spouses.


Verizon Communications, Inc. (New York, NY): During the past decade, 2,014 Verizon employees have been called to active duty. “We currently have 258 employees in active military emergency leave,” says Emilia Williams-Gaston, Manager, Organizational Development. To foster career development, Verizon provides tuition assistance benefits to those who meet tuition program eligibility requirements specific to their employment. And the Veterans’ Advisory Board of Verizon provides assistance, guidance and representation regarding veterans’ issues to senior management. Verizon also offers the American Corporate Partners program, in which employees volunteer as mentors to veterans. In 2013, more than 30 employees actively participated. ACP also provides opportunity for networking and advancing on leadership skills.


Werner Enterprises (Omaha, NE): Werner is among the five largest truckload carriers in the United States, whose capabilities include medium-to-long-haul, regional and local van, expedited, temperature-controlled and flatbed services. The company established the first apprenticeship program in its industry focusing on veteran recruitment. Eligible veterans with GI Bill benefits can receive up to $13,891 of their tax-free benefits in this on-the-job training program, in addition to receiving their normal pay, says Jim Morbach, Director of Government and Field Recruiting. Werner is part of the White House’s Joining Forces campaign, pledging to hire 1,000 veterans each year for five continuous years. “To date, Werner has exceeded those goals,” Morbach says.


Westgate Resorts (Orlando, FL): Founded in 1982, Westgate Resorts is one of the largest resort developers in the U.S. Over the past three years Westgate has given more than 3,000 free vacations to military personnel. Westgate proudly supports Operation Rolling Thunder and its mission to recognize POWs and MIAs, Sentinels of Freedom, Honor Flight and numerous other charities. “We actively seek out military team members because of their immense leadership skills and can-do attitude,” says Mark Waltrip, Chief Operating Officer of Westgate Resorts and retired Air Force Officer. “We are proud to have current and former military personnel at all levels of our company, including all of our top C-level executives.”


Whelan Security (St. Louis, MO): Whelan Security is a privately-held, family-owned company providing contract security services across many diverse industries and markets throughout the U.S. In addition to traditional security service, we also offer security and staffing services to major events and provide emergency response services to natural disasters, labor disputes and industrial accidents. “We are committed to hiring professionals who will excel in our unique client settings,” says Mark Porterfield, Senior VP Field Support Services and Chief Security Officer. “In many cases, service members and veterans have an innate understanding of the intricacies of operating in these dynamic environments.” Whelan hired 324 veterans, representing approximately 15 percent of all new full-time hires for 2013.


Xcel Energy (Minneapolis, MN): In July 2013, Ben Fowke, Chairman, President and CEO of Xcel Energy, outlined to the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee his plans to bolster military hiring practices. In November, Xcel hired a contract recruiter focusing on veteran recruiting strategies. Xcel partners with Troops to Energy Jobs,, Corporate Gray, Hire Veterans, Student Veterans of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes to reach candidates. Xcel also offers orientation, training and leadership-development programs to transition veterans into the workforce and retain them, says Kynnie Martin, Contract Recruiter. Veteran hires rose from 5.7 percent in 2012 to 11.4 percent in 2013.


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

Return to May/June 2014 Issue