- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Announcing the 2013 Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military® L-Sp
by Heidi Lynn Russell, Contributing Editor

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Article Sponsored by: Crete Carrier and Lockheed Martin

Return to May/June 2013 Issue

Company profiles: A-C, D-J, L-Sp, St-X

Below, please find employer profiles of the 2013 MVEs. The brief snapshots capture some of the highlights regarding why these employers of military veterans were recognized as winners, and why they are companies worth seeking out if you are a military-experienced job seeker.

Lockheed Martin Corporation (Bethesda, MD): Since late 2004, Lockheed Martin has had a recruiting team dedicated to transitioning military, says Teri Matzkin, Manager of Talent Acquisition, Military Relations and Strategic Sourcing. The team attends more than 200 military career events and more than 60 TAP presentations yearly. Lockheed Martin partners with the USO and Hire Heroes USA to participate in their Wounded Warrior Transition workshops. The company also has a new partnership with American Corporate Partners, which provides one-on-one mentoring relationships with business leaders. Lockheed Martin became a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Veterans Employer Advisory Council to guide the Hiring Our Heroes endeavor.


Makino (Mason, OH): The aerospace, die/mold and automotive, medical, construction and mining industries use Makino’s machines to form precision components for diverse products. “Anyone that loves challenges and exposure to amazing opportunities, well, Makino has them,” says Chris Sultan, field service engineer. Makino provides veterans with a 20-week Personal Qualification Program, says Tom Botelho, recruiting and onboarding leader. The veteran attends relevant lab work and online course work with Sinclair College. After training, veterans receive 17 college credits and certification. Employees are then ready to move to a region and support a product team, Botelho says.


ManTech International Corporation (Fairfax, VA): Roughly 75 percent of ManTech’s recruiting budget is for attracting veterans, says Charles Miles, director of Military Programs. The $3 billion public company provides support in the areas of defense, intelligence, law enforcement, science, administration and other fields. In 2012, veterans represented 45 percent of total new hires. Recruiters attended 50 military job fairs and ultimately hired 1,601 veterans. Through a partnership with CharityWorks, ManTech is supporting the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which supports those injured in support of Marine forces. Military outreach includes ongoing support for the Fisher House Foundation, which allow families to stay near hospitals.


MEI Technologies, Inc. (Houston, TX):
One of the major thrusts that MEI Technologies continues to pursue is Department of Defense work. Veterans possess essential discipline and experience to succeeding in this industry, says Claudia Ramirez, lead recruiter. MEI Technologies services include systems design and development, applied engineering, cyber and Research and Development for the aerospace, defense and biotechnology markets. Vietnam and Service-Disabled Veteran, Air Force Lt. Col. Edelmiro Muniz, retired, is owner and operator. One-third of the executive team comes from a military background. MEI Technologies supports the Warriors to Work program and is part of the Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces.


Navy Federal Credit Union (Vienna, VA):
The customer base for Navy Federal Credit Union covers the Department of Defense, military members, civilian personnel and their families, so a veteran is a “natural fit” for this organization, says Gina White, senior communications specialist. The credit union’s 229 branches are situated near military bases. “Frequently, when a spouse relocates, a family member will be able to continue his/her career at a location within our large branch network,” White says. The company is also is an “Employer Who Wants to Hire Veterans” with the Army Career and Alumni Program, a comprehensive program offering transition services.


Northrop Grumman Corporation (Falls Church, VA): Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company. And, at a place like this, veterans “have the ability to make significant contributions to our development of cutting-edge technology,” says Kathleen E. Berger, talent acquisition communications specialist. During the last year, 31 percent of new hires were veterans. Through December 2012, Northrop Grumman successfully hired 108 Operation IMPACT employees. (Operation IMPACT’s mission is to assist severely injured service members with their transition to civilian careers.) The company has sponsored military support organizations, including Association of the United States Army and Non-Commissioned Officers Association. Various Northrop Grumman Corp. business campuses have also supported the USO.


Patterson-UTI Drilling Co LLC (Houston, TX): Patterson-UTI Drilling Company LLC operates in oil and natural gas producing regions in the continental United States, Alaska and western and northern Canada. The company offers veterans its “New to Industry” program, which blends classroom training with structured training on a live operating drilling rig, says Brent Hollenbaugh, Human Resources Manager. More than 35 percent of the workforce are veterans. The company hired 405 veterans in 2012. “We have a goal of hiring a minimum of 40 percent ‘New to Industry’ from former military employees,” Hollenbaugh says. The company visits 10 military installations annually through the ACAP/TAP Programs and hosts hiring events.


Puget Sound Energy (Bellevue, WA): The military and utilities have a lot in common, says Rachael Brown, senior recruiter for Puget Sound Energy (PSE). “We both have rules, regulations and compliances that leave little room for interpretation.” PSE is Washington State’s oldest local energy company, primarily serving the Puget Sound area. Almost all power generation workers are veterans. PSE also has strong IT military hires. In 2013, it will offer Gas Worker Trainee opportunities. PSE is a sponsor of Hire America’s Heroes. Military bases are nearby, so the company doesn’t rely on external recruiters. “We have such a strong population of qualified individuals,” adds Brown.


Ryder (Miami, FL): In November 2011, Ryder System Inc. made a concerted effort to focus on veteran hiring, says Ed Tobon, director of staffing. “We partnered with the Hiring our Heroes campaign and pledged to hire 1,000 veterans by the end of 2013,” he says. Since then, Ryder has hired more than 900 veterans, has launched a military website and increased veteran population from 8 percent to 9.6 percent. Ryder System Inc. is a leading provider of commercial transportation, logistics and supply chain management solutions. Available jobs are diesel mechanics, CDL truck drivers, logistics managers, customer service coordinators and warehouse positions.


Safeway, Inc (Pleasanton, CA): From being paired with a training manager during the six-to-nine month training program, to on-the-job training, military members are set up for success in a promising career with Safeway, says Patrick Mireur, senior recruiter, Retail Talent Acquisition. Safeway is one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America with 1,644 stores. The company hired 1,498 military veterans in 2012. Safeway is also participating in the White House initiative, Joining Forces. The company committed to hiring 1,000 veterans in 2012, and exceeded that goal by 498. It has committed to hiring at least another 1,500 veterans in 2013.


SAYtr (San Antonio , TX): SAYtr, a woman-veteran-owned small business specializes in transition leadership for Department of Defense changes. “Speaking the language of the government is paramount to our success; every member of our team is either a veteran or prior Department of Defense civilian,” says the CEO, Tamara D. Say. The company’s motto is, “Work Hard, Play Hard,” so, “Work-life balance is important to us, and it is also important to the people who are coming from the military,” adds Say. As a small firm, SAYtr allows employees to create the job package that is right for the individual, including the ability to customize benefits.


Schneider National, Inc. (Green Bay, WI): Schneider National has provided transportation and logistics solutions for more than 76 years and is a $3.5 billion company. “Schneider anticipates growth and new hires in all areas of the business,” says Janet Bonkowski, Public Relations manager. She adds the greatest opportunities are for truck drivers. In 2012, Schneider National committed to hire 650 veterans; the company actually hired three times that number. A former Army officer leads the military recruiting team. Schneider National is also a key partner with the ARMY EPO, PaYS, ESGR and VETBIZ and is involved in Marine for Life programs and the 100,000 Jobs Mission.


Sears Holdings Corporation (Hoffman Estates, IL): Sears Holdings Corp. understands the diversity of military candidates and, as a result, “we do not seek to quarantine them into particular areas of our businesses,” says Mario Nino, military talent acquisition program manager. Veterans serve as vice presidents, directors, store managers, and assistant store managers, among other roles. This integrated retailer has more than 2,600 full-line and specialty stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings will participate in more than 40 military career expos in 2013, including Hiring our Heroes, NCOA and SACC. The company also works with PaYS, MSEP and individual TAP and ACAP programs.


Southern Company (Atlanta, GA): Southern Company actively recruits veterans for jobs at the cutting-edge integrated gasification combined cycle plant under construction in Kemper County, Miss., and the new nuclear power units in development outside of Augusta, Ga. The company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communication. Southern Company is one of six energy partners sponsoring the Troops to Energy Program, a pathway for veterans to gain awareness about careers in the energy industry and participate in more than 30 military recruitment events annually, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Hiring Our Heroes” events.


Sprint (Overland Park, KS): Casey Muilenburg, an Air Force Sgt., was deployed to Iraq twice over her nine-year employment with Sprint as a regional account manager. “Sprint went above and beyond to support us, which allowed me to focus on my troops and my mission,” she says, adding, “My co-workers put together care packages for me, my unit and an Iraqi village.” Sprint seeks “to fill a wide range of opportunities in technology, management, retail and customer care,” says Jerri Cofran, recruitment services manager. Employees support veterans, too: more than 800 are members in Veterans and Employees Helping Others through Sprint, an Employee Resource Group.

Company profiles: A-C, D-J, L-Sp, St-X

See the MVE winners' center spread from the Military Transition News print issue here.

Return to May/June 2013 Issue