- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Announcing the 2011 Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military® winners (Continued)

Share |

Article Sponsored by: Waste Management

Most Valuable Employers for Military companies: A-D; F-P; S-W

SAYtr: Woman-veteran-owned SAYtr specializes in transition leadership. Veterans are integral, says CEO Tamara Say. The company assists the Department of Defense with changes such as the BRAC, installation consolidation, joint moves and mission realignments. Every team member has either been a veteran or prior DoD civilian. This year, SAYtr also is hiring military spouses and those with experience in both private sector and DoD. As a small firm, SAYtr allows employees to create the job package that is right for the individual, with opportunities to customize benefits packages. Open positions include careers such as vice presidents, business development, graphic artist, engineering jobs and project managers. (

Schlumberger: Schlumberger is recognized by the industry as the leader in employee training and development, says Jason Watford, North American Field Service/Maintenance Technician Recruiter. “Working for Schlumberger is not a job, but a career. We invest large amounts of time and money in each employee, training them to do their job and broadening them so they are ready to take the next step to management and beyond,” Watford says. Types of open positions are Electronics Technician, Mechanical Technician, Field Specialist and Equipment Operator. In 2010, the company hired 128 ex-military candidates for those jobs, or 42 percent of the total new employees in the United States and Canada. “The lifestyle working in the oilfield is similar, and our training structures are often compared by candidates to what they went through in the military,” Watford says. (

Schneider National, Inc.: Military personnel thrive at Schneider, says Janet Bonkowski, Public Relations Manager. The company provides truckload, logistics and intermodal services, serving more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies. “Our need for talented associates who share our vision and core values will grow in 2011. The company’s workforce of 18,000 associates includes professionals working in office, maintenance/shop, truck driving and warehouse roles,” Bonkowski says, adding that the greatest area of opportunity is professional truck drivers. Schneider has a team of military recruiters led by a former Army officer. The company is a key partner with the ARMY EPO, PaYS and the VETBIZ organization, and is also involved in Marine for Life programs. Schneider recruiters regularly visit Guard and Reserve units. Additionally, they work with the Transition Assistance Programs across all branches of the service. (

Sears Holdings Corporation: Many veterans’ skills are transferable to the business sector. So Sears Holdings introduces them into leadership roles involving a wide range of industry disciplines, such as logistics, store management and home services, says Christina Dibble, Program Manager. “We find our military employees encompass a respect for procedure, possess teamwork and team-building ability, and have an accelerated learning curve,” she says. Among its many recruitment efforts, Sears is a founding member and partner with the Department of Army for the Army Spouse Employment Partnership, which helps spouses find employment. To support military employees, an Employee Resource Group is available: The Sears Holdings Associate Military Support Network. Sears Holdings currently employs more than 30,000 veterans and nearly 1,600 National Guardsman and Reservists. (

Southern Company: With 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Southern Company is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. The company seeks engineers, instrument and control technicians, power plant operators (fossil and nuclear), lineworkers, nuclear training instructors, information technology, diesel mechanics and nuclear security officers, says Jerome Richard, Programs Strategist. In partnership with Direct Employers, Southern is posting jobs on the U.S. Army Reserves website. The company has participated in numerous TAP/ACAP sessions to teach veterans how to write a resume and how to conduct themselves in an interview, too. Southern also participated in the Fort Gordon Wounded Warrior Transition Unit program for wounded veterans, and it established a military “affinity group” to assist with recruitment, integration and retention of military veterans. (

Sprint: As an employer of choice for many ex-service people, Sprint offers broad career opportunities in diverse geographies and support programs (like an employee resource group for veterans), says Recruiting Manager Jerri Cofran. The company stands behind Guardsmen and Reservists when duty calls, guaranteeing time for training, plus a pay differential for 10 days of involuntary active duty. During the 2010 BP oil spill, Hardy Medlin, Sprint Systems Integration Manager, was Command Master Chief with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. “Sprint management was extremely supportive and made sure that prior to my deployment, I had answers to any questions,” Hardy says. Open positions include technical support representatives and retail sales consultants, network engineers, switch and RF/field technicians, and management jobs.(

Transocean: In the Navy, Matthew Acevedo felt he made a difference in the world. Now with Transocean, he says, “I still have that feeling. We strive, every day, to be the best stewards of the environment so that we can leave as little impact as possible.” Transocean services all types of petroleum companies in offshore drilling markets. Its Subsea Trainee program recruits ex-military trained in hydraulics. Acevedo and others go through two training phases before becoming rig-based Subsea supervisors, says Lisa Mullins, Global Recruiting Manager. The company uses social networking and job fairs to hire for entry-level and rig management level jobs. (

United Rentals, Inc.: United Rentals is the largest equipment rental company in the world, with an integrated network of 531 rental locations in 48 states and 10 Canadian provinces. The company’s 7,300 employees serve construction and industrial customers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others. Positions include Service Managers, Technicians, Certified Driver’s License (CDL) A & CDL B truck drivers, Sales personnel and Managerial. “We currently have partnerships with GIJobs, Flexpath/MilitaryOneSource and other job boards to help with our veteran and veteran spouse recruiting efforts,” says Ruth Somoza, Corporate Human Resources Generalist. Veterans make up six percent of the workforce. Antwan Houston, a veteran and Region Maintenance Manager in Forest Park, Ga., says, “I was looking for the strong values that I found at United Rentals. This company definitely takes care of its employees; they promote from within.” (

University of Phoenix: The Apollo Group Inc., parent company of the University of Phoenix, continues to lead the way as an avid employer of veterans in many of its subsidiaries, says Kirk Kyle, Director, National Accounts/Military. The University of Phoenix provides “ideal access and opportunity for service members transitioning to a civilian career, including veterans, and members of the Guard and Reserves.” The majority of military-experienced staff works at the campus in Phoenix, Ariz., but veterans staff many other campuses throughout 39 states. Veterans also staff the subsidiaries such as Institute for Professional Development, College for Financial Planning, Western International University, and Apollo Global, Kyle says. A majority of veterans work as Enrollment Counselors, Academic Counselors and Finance Counselors. The Apollo Group offers competitive compensation and benefits, including a tuition wavier program. (

URS, Federal Services: URS is an engineering, construction and technical services organization. Veterans’ organizations give URS repeated accolades for its supportive programs and services. Fifty-four percent of employees are veterans, as well as 47 percent of new hires, says Marian Hyder, Vice President, Talent Management. URS works with American Corporate Partners, a nationwide mentoring program, and 88 URS employees have mentored veterans. In addition, URS supports many Wounded Warriors events and programs, plus gives troops holiday stockings and care packages. Senior managers routinely volunteer with military-support organizations. “Veterans play a critical role in our organization. The discipline, training and dedication they bring to our company are invaluable,” says Randy Wotring, President of URS Federal Services. (

USAA: USAA is the leading provider of competitively priced insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their families, says Michael Kelly, Executive Director, Military Communications. In 2010, USAA exceeded its 25 percent goal to hire veterans or military spouses. Today, USAA’s military representation is more than 20 percent of its 22,000-plus employees. USAA is consistently recognized for supporting its Guard and Reserve employees. It was the first large company in Texas and one of only 15 employers across the nation to receive the 2005 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. USAA’s Pen Pal program also involves employee volunteers writing to deployed colleagues at least once per month. An Intranet site helps USAA employees’ transition upon their return. (

Verizon Communications Inc.: As Verizon’s business has transformed to a global technology business, the company has redoubled veteran hiring efforts, says Emilia Williams-Gaston, Manager. “Our recruitment strategy is focused on building long-term relationships with the military branches and organizations,” she says. Veterans are important to Verizon Federal Network Systems (FNS), which provides expertise in designing, building and maintaining networks for government agencies. In total, 7-plus percent of its workforce are veterans. Verizon’s military leave policy is among the best in the nation, guaranteeing 36 months of pay differential during deployment. Also, the Verizon employee resource group, the Veterans’ Advisory Board, provides recognition, mentoring and development to veterans, and assists senior management with veterans’ issues. (

Waste Management, Inc.: A veteran is hired per day at Waste Management, North America’s leading provider of integrated environmental solutions. The company reduces waste while recovering valuable resources and creating clean, renewable energy. Five percent of veteran hires are disabled, and one in 12 workers are vets or active Guard or Reserve, says Wes Reel, Military Recruiting and Outreach. Waste Management is one of 30 employers to participate in the Corporate Military Recruiting and Transitioning Consortium (CMRTC) to identify best practices for military hiring. The company offers a Military Employee Resource Group, developmental programs for both junior- and management-level employees and a military spouse hiring program. “Your time in uniform can give you a leg up on those without it. Employers recognize your leadership experience and work ethic,” says Air Force veteran Marek Crabbs, now Sales Manager. (

Freelancer Heidi Russell Rafferty is a reporter with 19 years of experience who writes about employment and business issues.

Most Valuable Employers for Military companies: A-D; F-P; S-W

Return to May/June 2011 Issue