Greetings AHRMA Members!
As we observe Veterans Day and head into the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the sacrifices those who’ve served have made to protect our nation’s freedom. It’s also a bitter-sweet time for me personally as I reflect on my father who passed away twenty years ago. He grew up in rural Mississippi, joined the Navy as soon as he could, and proudly served during the Korean war. As he transitioned back to civilian life in the mid 1950’s, he returned to Mississippi and started his own drywall business. By the time I came along 15 years later, his business was well established. Growing up, my father instilled in me a strong work ethic and time-management skills. He often reflected on how his experience in the Navy shaped the man he became.
Of course, the experience of the transitioning service member today is a lot different. Two years ago, I attended an event where the Garrison Commander of Fort Hood was a guest speaker. Fort Hood is less than an hour north of Austin and is the largest military installation in terms of exiting service members. Fort Hood facilitates the exit of almost 1,000 service members a month. Many of these service members have an MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) in Technology & Healthcare. Coincidentally, The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce posts monthly job reports in which tech-related and nursing positions remain two categories of hard-to-fill positions. This a-ha moment inspired our committee to action. Our goal was to bridge connections and resources for AHRMA members to learn how to recruit qualified veteran talent locally.
In 2016, we invited the Garrison Command, leaders from Fort Hood’s Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, and transitioning service members to participate in our annual Workforce Readiness Day Programming. We also collaborated with this team to host two AHRMA Member Employer Days onsite at Fort Hood (August 2016 and March 2017). During these special events, AHRMA members attended Fort Hood’s Employer 101 trainings to learn how to engage and recruit talent directly from Fort Hood.
I encourage you to explore the new SHRM Foundation’s tool kit for “Engaging and Integrating Veterans in the Workforce”. Here you will find amazing resources to help you build a new Veteran Recruiting & Integration program or enhance a program you may already have in place!
Glean key insights on:
- · The Business Case for Hiring Veterans
- · How to Begin Hiring Veterans
- · SHRM Foundation and NAVSO’s Final Report from the Veterans Summit
- · FAQ/Resources for Employing Veterans
As my Co-VP (Traci Storm) and I begin our transition and welcome our successor, Kat Edwards… your 2018-2019 VP Workforce Readiness, we wish you all continued success.
Compliments of the Season,
VP Workforce Readiness, 2016-2017