Announcing The 2016 Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military® Ry-St
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Below and on the pages that follow, please find employer profiles of the 2016 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.
Ryder System Inc. (Miami, FL): Ryder System Inc. offers a Veteran Buddy Program, pairing current Ryder veteran employees with new veteran employees. The “buddy” is available to help new hires assimilate to their work environment, says Michael Raley, Manager, Recruiting and Veterans Initiative. Ryder System is an active member of the Veterans Employment Advisory Council with Hiring Our Heroes through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Ryder attends multiple Veteran recruiting and transition events throughout the year, and nine percent of the workforce is former military. “We also have a veteran widget on our recruiting dashboards to alert each recruiter to a new veteran application immediately,” Raley says. The company is a leading provider of commercial transportation, logistics and supply chain management solutions.
Schneider (Green Bay, WI): Transportation, like the military, is fast-paced and dynamic, says Janet Bonkowski, PR Manager. “We’re looking for associates who can hit the ground running with critical thinking skills, leadership and motivation. We find all of these characteristics in those with military experience,” she says. Currently, over 28 percent of associates have a military background, including many senior leaders. Schneider is a key partner with the ARMY EPO, PaYS, ESGR and the VETBIZ organizations. The company is also involved in Marine For Life programs and the 100,000 Jobs Mission. A notable veteran-friendly initiative is the Vet to Vet Training Program, which matches newly hired driving school graduates coming out of the military with Schneider driving training engineers with a military background.
Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) (McLean, VA): AIC designs and develops services that support diplomatic missions, warfighter requirements and advanced exploration of the ocean floor and outer space. “In addition to excellent work ethic, our veterans also hold security clearances vital to a timely and successful completion of our contract requirement,” says Lauren Presti, Sr. Media Relations Specialist. SAIC offers formal training courses and certifications based on the needs of specific job tracks. Veterans can sign up for a sponsor to help with their career transition through SAIC’s Military Alliance Group. The Reservist Support Network also assists SAIC employees who are being recalled to active duty. SAIC has established relationships with multiple nonprofits supporting veterans, including The Wounded Warrior Project, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Operation Homefront.
Southern Company (Atlanta, GA): Many military 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. Southern Company actively recruits veterans at company facilities, including the integrated gasification combined cycle plant under construction in Kemper County, Miss., and the nuclear power units in development outside of Augusta, Ga., says Linda Sykes, Talent Acquisition Manager. Southern Company annually participates in more than 30 military recruitment events. Through the Military Veterans in Power employee resource group, the company provides internal support to help integrate veterans into the workforce. Ten percent of its 26,000 employees are veterans or National Guard and Reserve.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas, TX): At Southwest, voluntary turnover is less than two percent, and training and retention initiatives contribute to overall retention rates, says Tina Clanton, Military and Veteran Liaison. The airline likes hiring veterans with leadership potential for an 18-month job rotational program, called the Emerging Leader Development Program, or ELDP. Participants work as supervisors in three areas. Southwest also hires veterans for all positions across the country, including those at Headquarters, a state-of-the-art training facility and a Pilot Training Center, all in Dallas. Southwest also is proud of 12 national sponsorships with military-focused nonprofit organizations. “This represents our second-largest focus area of charitable contributions and was an investment of more than $1 million in 2014,” Clanton says.
Sprint (Overland Park, KS): Sprint uses its internal resources, including an existing network of employees with military experience, to easily integrate qualified military hires into their roles, says Summer Dean, Manager, Talent Acquisition. Some of Sprint’s activities to further military hiring efforts include training for recruiters on translating military skills, hosting military transition workshops, posting available positions on military bases and transition offices and a site that includes a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) skills translator. The company also credits its success with veterans to an employee resource group, called Veterans and Employees helping others Through Sprint (VETS). With more than 940 active members, the group provides professional-development and mentoring opportunities. The VETS ERG also supports employees’ families if someone is called to active duty.
STANLEY Security Solutions (Indianapolis, IN): Jim Cannon, President of STANLEY Security Solutions, was an Armor Officer and Infantry Non-Commissioned Officer in the Army. “He has firsthand experience to know what it takes to be successful in the military, as well as at STANLEY,” says Heather Halmi, Director, Talent Management. STANLEY produces state-of-the-art automatic entrance systems for an array of commercial, institutional, industrial and transportation applications. The company has designed a training program specifically for military new hires who may not have industry experience. They participate in a job shadowing program for the first four to six weeks with a more experienced technician and then receive three-day training to become Certified Alarm Technicians. The company also launched a veteran affinity group in 2015.
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