"America's employers play a critical part in helping U.S. veterans as they return from service and seek private sector opportunities," says Kris Urbauer, program manager, Veterans Initiatives at GE. "However, possessing a desire and willingness for such support does not always lead to action. Marrying a company's aspiration to be 'veteran friendly' with the ability and the preparedness to recruit, hire, train and develop veterans is imperative to maximizing the effectiveness and the longevity of veteran-hiring initiatives."
GE is lead corporate sponsor of the toolkit and an IVMF flagship partner, supporting the institute's work to improve the employment situation of veterans and their families.
The toolkit brings together key insights and resources from employers, public and private sector organizations and key stakeholders to support veteran-focused career initiatives. Part of the larger Get Skills to Workcoalition effort, spearheaded by GE, the toolkit includes information and resources regarding veteran hiring, onboarding and orientation, acclimation, retention, promotion and advancement, and leveraging veteran experience for business advantage. A secondary focus is on veterans and their preparedness for the civilian workforce. Building on IVMF's JPMorgan Chase & Co.-sponsored work on veteran employment, the "Guide to Leading Policies, Practices & Resources: Supporting the Employment of Veterans and Military Families" released in June 2012, the toolkit simplifies employer access to veteran hiring information and practices.
"Toolkit information is packaged succinctly, and in a number of different formats, so that it can easily be adopted by businesses and organizations for a seamless process of hiring and retaining veterans," says James Schmeling, IVMF managing director and co-founder. "'Veteran Employment Leading Practices' can be utilized by companies and organizations on a wide range of levels regarding the veteran workforce-from employers just learning about veterans to those who are tapping into veteran employee groups for a competitive advantage."
The toolkit is a collaborative effort of the IVMF and more than 30 private sector employers, including GE as well as Accenture, AstraZeneca, AT&T, BAE, Bank of America, CINTAS Corporation, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, Google, Health Net, Humana, JPMC, Merck, PepsiCo, PLC Global Solutions, Prudential, TriWest, Walmart and WILL Interactive.
The toolkit is divided into four thematic sections, with relevant sub-sections:
- Leadership - tools for internal and external messaging on veteran initiatives; collaborative engagement; for veteran-related corporate social responsibility; and for creating corporate cultures that engage the veteran talent pool.
- Human Resources Processes - processes and practices to support recruiting, hiring, and retaining veteran talent, and creating coordinated and sustained approaches to link veteran skills with the organizational goals of business and industry and other civilian sector employers.
- Co-Worker & Peer Resources - tools and resources for co-workers and peers to learn about veterans, their education, experience, training, qualifications, and how veterans contribute to the workplace; materials to engage veteran co-workers and for peers to help assimilate veterans into a company's culture and environment.
- Preparedness - resources for veterans and their families on the transition from military to civilian status, including resources for employment, education, training, accommodations and workplace supports, and more; information for employers on how to access veteran talent or education for their veterans.
"Business and industry recognize the value of the veteran in the workforce," says Mike Haynie, IVMF executive director and founder. "This toolkit presents a one-stop shop to leverage veteran talent and for veterans to become better acclimated to the post-service, civilian workplace. We are thrilled to have GE as a leading corporate partner in this effort."
Companies willing to share their practices regarding veteran employment may contribute to the toolkit through a simple submission form on the website, or may contact the IVMF directly to share their information. All companies who collaborate on the toolkit are prominently featured on the site, so that veterans can see those in the public and private sectors who value their contributions to the civilian workforce and to help veterans gain an understanding of the employer perspective regarding veteran hiring, retention and advancement.
For more information, or to contribute to the toolkit, contact James Schmeling at 315.443.2937 or firstname.lastname@example.org.