- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Most Valuable Employers for Military

by Heidi Russell Rafferty, Contributing Editor

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Not all employers are created equal, especially from the perspective of military service members transitioning to civilian employment. Your job hunt is much more than finding a decent salary. You should also consider companies that appreciate and value your military service, support your transition issues, and foster your career aspirations. To help with this evaluation, Civilian Job News releases its first annual "Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military" for 2009 survey. We have profiled 15 outstanding employers.

Consider The Stanley Works. During the past 15 months, this hardware manufacturer experienced an infusion of business success, which it directly attributes to newly-hired veterans. Previously, its Hydraulic Tools Division had focused on growing talent from within the organization and sourcing external talent locally. "We found that military-sourced talent has dramatically increased our organization's effectiveness in both the short and long term," the company says.

Also take a look at the government contractor Halfaker and Associates, LLC, whose CEO Dawn Halfaker advocates hiring disabled veterans. Halfaker, a former Army MP who was disabled after a patrol ambush in Baqubah, Iraq, launched her company in 2006. The Defense Department recently presented her with the "Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Achievement Award."

Let's take a closer look at this year's winners.

BNSF Railway Co. (Fort Worth, Texas) BNSF hires 40 percent of veterans in transition or recently separated. Year-to-date, 20 percent of total hires are veterans. Jobs filled include rail operations, information systems and technology, sales and marketing, finance and engineering. Average salary is $60,000 (with a benefits package value of $23,000). CEO Matt Rose likes veterans because they are "mission-focused, highly skilled, motivated and possess unique experiences and technical knowledge." (

CACI International Inc. (Arlington, Va.) This government contractor specializing in IT solutions focuses on military-experienced talent "because they understand our clientsÕ missions and possess the skills and experience with our clients to excel." Worldwide job opportunities exist for Intelligence Analysts, Acquisition Management Professionals, Trainers, Logisticians, Business Analysts, Tactical Law Enforcement Professionals, Network Engineers, and all other IT-related positions. CACI hires disabled veterans through its "Deploying Talent - Creating Careers" initiative. CACI also provides resume writing and interview training workshops to veterans' organizations. (

Consolidated Edison, Inc. (CONED) (New York, N.Y.) This utility operates one of the world's largest, most complex and reliable energy delivery systems. Transitioning to dynamic New York City can be a challenge, so CONED assists in this transition from day one, both on the job and also at its training/development/testing facility - The Learning Center. Various career options exist, including progression into management. CONED also recently launched the Military Community forum for military employees to professionally network, receive support and share information. (

CSX Corporation (Jacksonville, Fla.) Military members have a natural affinity for "safety and discipline," two traits highly valued at CSX, which plans to add veterans in 283 Eastern U.S. locations. In 2008, 800 new hires (28 percent) were veterans. The company partners with the Wounded Warrior Project on a TRACK Externship Program, where severely wounded veterans attend business classes for six months and proceed to a CSX internship. Employee retention is nearly 90 percent and CSX pays in the 90th percentile of transportation companies. Check out the "Keep in Touch" Web site to chat with recruiters (who are also veterans), even if you are still serving in the military. (

EG&G (Germantown, Md.) EG&G is a $2.5 billion division of URS Corporation. It specializes in new weapons systems, military vehicles and aircraft and helicopter training. According to the company, it seeks veterans because, "They know our business! Many have operated or maintained the military vehicles, aircraft, ships and systems we support." To that end, the company continuously hires new people with mixed skills and clearance levels, many of whom are embedded at government customer sites. EG&G offers employees educational assistance, performance bonuses, annual compensation reviews, training and development opportunities, employee recognition awards and social events. (

Electric Motor and Contracting Co., Inc. (Chesapeake, Va.) Electric Motor and Contracting Co. (EMC) provides a full-range of services to the nuclear power industry along with shop and field services to the users of rotating electric and mechanical equipment. Read more about EMC in the article "Growth equals opportunity at Electric Motor & Contracting Co., Inc." (

Halfaker & Associates, LLC. (Washington, D.C.) Under CEO Dawn Halfaker, a wounded Iraq veteran, this government contractor gives priority to veteran hires. Through its career program, Halfaker matches veterans with positions that give them "a continued sense of purpose, community and team." They include intelligence analyst positions, customer support reps who handle cyber-recruiting for the Army and personnel security specialists who support the Defense Intelligence Agency's Personnel Security Division. Openings are in Washington, D.C., northern Virginia and Fort Knox, Ky. (

IPA (Duluth, Ga.) This rapidly-growing company automates hospital linen distribution. For its customer support engineer positions, the company seeks veterans with technology associates degrees, military technical training school or four years of experience in a related field technician occupation. IPA provides in-depth training plus growth opportunities in leadership, personnel management and project management. (

ManTech International Corporation (Fairfax, Va.). There are hundreds of openings at ManTech, which specializes in technology solutions for national security. Out of 8,000 employees, 3,259 are veterans. ManTech operates in 37 countries and 42 states and aggressively recruits veterans experienced in engineering, software/IT, and technical support areas, including electronics, logistics and satellite communications. In September 2008, ManTech and the U.S. Army Reserves formed a program to recruit, train and employ those interested in both serving the nation and pursuing an IT career. Employees can access more than 400 professional development courses at "ManTech University." (

Sprint (Overland Park, Kan.) Communications giant Sprint appreciates the diversity of people in the military, plus their strong work ethic. In addition to hiring more veterans, Sprint also has implemented an "employee resource group" to foster their careers. It's called, "Veterans and Employees helping others Through Sprint (V.E.T.S.)" and has more than 1,100 members. Open positions include customer assistance, service advocates, technical support representatives, retail sales consultants, logistics/procurement representatives, network operations specialists, network engineers, switch technicians and RF/field technicians, to name a few. (

The Stanley Works (New Britain, Conn.) Toolmaker Stanley Works touches people's everyday lives in more ways than they realize, from the hinges on the door of their microwave oven to the tools that assembled the cars they drive. Even in an economic slowdown, "the potential exists to hire military experienced talent in various locations in the U.S.," the company says. To foster professional growth, the company offers "Stanley University," a global online learning portal. (

University of Phoenix/Apollo Group Inc. (Phoenix, Ariz.) Most people associate the University of Phoenix with online learning, but there are also jobs available through this institution for enrollment, academic and financial counselors. The university is a subsidiary of Apollo Group, which focuses on education needs of the working adult. Most veterans work in UP's Military Division, where they assist military students. Some also work throughout 40 states and in other Apollo subsidiaries. Apollo offers a competitive pay and benefit package that includes tuition reimbursement and a pay enhancement program for Guard and Reserve members called up for duty. (

USAA (San Antonio, Texas) Financial services provider USAA employs more than 21,000 people and hiring veterans and their spouses is an important part of the company's success. This year most open positions are in San Antonio in customer contact areas, such as banking, insurance and financial services. Other jobs include IT, marketing, program management, human resources and procurement. Veterans also fill management roles at every level, including the CEO, retired Army Major General Joe Robles.

G4S Wackenhut Corp. (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) A subsidiary of G4S Worldwide, security-provider Wackenhut has more than 35,000 employees in 200 offices nationwide. The company's Custom Protection Officer Division was created with veterans in mind. Military service is a qualifier for employment, with consideration for Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) such as Military Police, Combat Arms, Security Forces, Special Operations, or career military. All newly hired veterans receive at least 40 hours of initial training before assignment to a particular post. The company's training and placement program -- Operation Smooth Transition -- provides officers and senior enlisted separating from military service a fast track to full-time employment in operations management. (

Walmart (Bentonville, Ark.) As Walmart looks to 2009, "we understand that we need to build a diverse pipeline of top talent to maintain our competitive advantage as the Fortune #1 Company." To that end, Walmart touts a three-phase on-boarding and training initiative to train junior military officer candidates into store manager positions. Other positions include market manager (responsible for 10-12 Walmart Stores, approximately $1 billion in business), asset protection positions in stores and markets (10 -12 stores), transportation and distribution, information systems, safety, human resources and project management in store innovation (

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


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