Announcing The 2016 Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military® Su-Xc
Article Sponsored by: Xcel Energy
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.
Summit Technical Solutions (Colorado Springs, CO): Summit Technical Solutions (STS) maintains a special focus on veterans, especially those operating in critical and classified fields, as well as those possessing active Security Clearances. The company offers technical support and professional services to meet mission-critical needs of customers worldwide. “We maintain a special focus on recruitment for our three primary business focuses: Systems Engineering, Test and Training and Data Management, of which we find many skilled veterans,” says Jaime Socotch, Program Management Analyst. The company participates bi-monthly in Transition Assistance Program classes at Fort Carson, U.S. Air Force Academy, and Peterson AFB. STS has most recently participated in the Military Veterans Employment Expo and the Front Range Military, Veterans & Spouse Career Fair at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
TMC Transportation (Des Moines, IA): TMC has been hiring veterans well before it was a national initiative, says Cheryl Freauff, Driver Recruiting Manager. Currently, 35 percent of employees are veterans. TMC ensures that those who have National Guard and Reserve commitments are home in time for Drills. Over 300 veterans are enrolled in TMC’s Driver Apprenticeship Program, allowing each veteran to collect on their education benefits for up to two years. The company’s structured onboarding program involves pairing new hires with a Veteran Driver Trainer for the first five weeks, then assigning them to a veteran to discuss transition issues in the early months of employment. “We also engage with their spouse to ensure all their questions and issues are being addressed,” Freauff says.
Union Pacific Railroad (Omaha, NE): Every year, United Pacific Railroad ships thousands of rail cars of ammunition, Humvees, tanks and other military equipment to support armed forces. “It was a Union Pacific employee who suggested, following 9/11, that we apply U.S. flags to our locomotives,” says Terry Huntington, Director, Recruiting. In 2015, 947, or 24 percent of total hires, were veterans. A total of 52 veteran hires (five percent) were disabled veterans. Today, approximately 19 percent of all employees are veterans. Last year, Union Pacific participated in 14 Hiring Our Heroes fairs, 11 military virtual career fairs and 135 other military recruiting events. Union Pacific is a member of the Army Reserve’s Employee Partnership Initiative and supports the Army Partnership for Youth Success program.
United Rentals Inc. (Stamford, CT): The work environment at United Rentals places a high value on veterans’ skills while also providing them flexibility for National Guard or Reserves commitments. The company provides pay differential during active duty deployments and job protection during an active leave or medical leave. “We have 1,467 veterans employed across 607 of our approximately 900 locations, which is 68 percent of our locations,” says Laura Zattola, Director, HR, Corporate Operations. The Veterans Employee Resource Group leads the company’s focus on causes such as Fisher House, Soldier Socks/EKSO Suit, ECAD and Wounded Warrior Project. United Rentals has donated equipment to help build Fisher Houses nationwide. “We provide our employees the opportunity to get involved at a local Fisher House or Valour Place,” Zattola says.
Vinnell Arabia (Herndon, VA): Vinnell Arabia is an international corporation based in Saudi Arabia, dedicated to providing the best in military training, logistics and support to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of the National Guard. Ninety-two percent of the total 760 employees are former U.S. military. They fill roles as military trainers. Vinnell Arabia’s expertise in designing, developing and executing training systems is only achieved by highly qualified former U.S. military and other U.S. government agency personnel, the company says. Vinnell Arabia lists open positions as: Infantry, Artillery, Armor, Snipers, Rangers, Security, Vehicle Maintenance, Aircraft Maintenance (Rotary), Medical Personnel, Logistics, Doctrine Developers, Combat Engineers and more. The company gives employees a contract completion bonus, in-house advancement, travel pay and other incentives.
Werner Enterprises (Omaha, NE): In September 2015, Werner Enterprises became a Coalition Member of the “Veteran Jobs Mission,” which is committed to hiring 1 million veterans by 2020. To date, the mission has nearly 300,000 hires since 2011. The Werner Veteran Enrichment Toolkit website has reached out to nearly 300 associates and continues to grow since October 2015. “Associates are networking, mentoring each other, and collaborating on projects as part of an associate-wide affinity group,” says Rick Buchholz, Associate Director of Field and Government Recruiting. Additionally, based on the success of Werner’s apprenticeship program, the Department of Labor invited Werner Enterprises to become one of the Apprenticeship USA Leaders in the Transportation Industry in 2015. Approximately 15 percent of Werner’s workforce is veterans.
Xcel Energy (Minneapolis, MN): It takes years of training to build up skills required for jobs at Xcel Energy, but veterans have already been taught many of these by the military, says Lacey Golonka, Veteran and Diversity Consultant. Xcel’s CEO is personally committed to hiring veterans and has spoken on Congressional panels, at veteran-related events and is a strong supporter of balancing priorities of active duty Guard and Reservists. The company is launching an internal veteran campaign to help educate employees on the value of veteran hiring. Xcel Energy has a dedicated veteran recruiter/consultant who works on supporting the CEO’s goal of having one in 10 new hires be a veteran.
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