Hiring Veterans, Serving Those Who Served

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Did you hear the one about the kid who went to church one Sunday and asked the pastor, “Why are all those names on the wall of the church?” The pastor replied, “Those names are members of the church who died in the service.” The kid then asked, “Which one, the morning or afternoon service?”

As the child of a disabled veteran and a 24 year Army Veteran myself, I have spent my life around those outstanding Americans who have served their country. The key word here is SERVED. In fact, baby boomers, generally refer to the military as “the service”, but unfortunately we don’t hear that phrase much anymore. With less than 1% of the country serving in the military at any one time, it understandable that “service” has fallen from our collective psyche.

veterans minoritySo what does this mean for our veterans? For starters, about 90% of the U.S. population are non-veterans. Furthermore, only about 20% of the prime enlistment age of 17-21 are even eligible for service and that number continues to grow. While the nation “Supports Our Troops”, the overall population just does not understand us.

Since a majority of the population does not understand what it means to serve in the military, the same applies to civilian recruiters and hiring managers. Although strides have been made in veteran unemployment, the number of unemployed veterans remains at about 722,000. With a continued drawdown of the military, with the Army alone losing 70-90K in 2015, much work still needs to be done to find veterans gainful careers.

Our veterans have already fulfilled their commitment to our nation selflessly serving to keep our country safe. Now it’s corporate America and small business’ turn to serve those who served.   Here are five practices to help your organization attract and hire veterans.

  1. Develop a solid military recruiting strategy. Developing a strategy begins with the company’s vision. This should be a top down driven initiative with specific, measurable, and achievable goals that the entire organization understands. Once a plan is made, recruiters and hiring managers must then be trained and resourced to execute the plan. Furthermore, performance reviews should be tied to veteran hiring performance to ensure continued success.
  1. Leverage existing veteran employees. What better way to attract veterans than engaging current employees who have served. They have not only talked the talk, they have walked the walk. They understand the military transition process and can assist in military skills interpretation and veteran interviewing. The bottom line is this: a brother and sisterhood exists within the veteran population. Veterans who believe in their organization want to share it with others.
  1. Market your organization as the veteran employer of choice. Building your organization’s brand as a veteran friendly company is key to military hiring success. Part of this branding is leveraging current veteran employees and telling their success stories within the company. Create military specific brochures and other military marketing collateral when attending military hiring functions and use veteran employees as recruiters at such events. Create a veteran hiring site on your company webpage. Send veteran applicants a separate email thanking them for their service when they apply. Make veterans feel welcomed before they even step foot in your company.
  1. Get engaged with the military community. In order to find the veteran employee population, your organization must be engaged in the veteran community. Establish partnerships with non-profit veteran organizations such as the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars. Get to know people at local military transition centers and make routine visits to reach out to those leaving military service. Establish relationships with local National Guard and Reserve units. Encourage employees to get involved with volunteer programs supporting veterans.
  2. Don’t forget about military spouses. When developing a veteran recruiting and hiring strategy, do not forget about the military spouse. Although they do not wear the uniform, they possess many skills employers are looking for. Just like the service member, the military spouse is flexible, adaptive to change, conscious of cultural and regional differences, and focused on getting the job done.

As a nation, we owe it to those currently serving and those who served our country in the past, the opportunity to begin new careers after their military obligation is complete. Forward March, Inc., can train your organization to attract, hire, and retain top military talent. We help develop a veteran pipeline and a military hiring strategy for success of both your organization and our nation’s veterans. If your company is committed to hiring those who served, let FMI show you how.

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~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services

Holiday Cheer Filled the FMI Offices This Week

RED FRIDAY COPTERS

Its Friday again, so break out those red shirts! R.E.D. Friday is here so remember everyone deployed!

Learn more about RED Fridays:

http://redshirtfridays.org/  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Support_our_troops

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Our-Troops-Wear-Red-Fridays/188809874489323

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Here is the weekly roundup.

We are always moving forward at a high rate of speed here at Forward March Inc.

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Did you catch Richard Abrams at the Hiring Our Heroes job fair? Richard is the Director of Strategic Development for Forward March Inc. You may have seen him on our social media pics in costume as a chef. Well, truth is, that is no costume. Richard is also an accomplished chef and has taken it upon himself to make sure that we eat really well at our FMI events!

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Paul (President of FMI) and Stephanie Volpe wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

This week the folks here at Forward March Inc. got together at Paul Volpe’s home and had our first annual Christmas party. With spouses and children present there was more than enough holiday cheer to go around.

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Don Palen (CEO of FMI) and his wife Andrea bringing the festive spirit to our Christmas party.

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And the winner of a great time is… everyone! You just cannot beat getting together with the FMI family!

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Chef Richard and his lovely family enjoying the festive evening.

We also had an amazing first annual Holiday Networking Mixer on Wednesday which you can read about here…

For more pics of this great Christmas party check out our Facebook page! 

Monday we will resume our highly informative article posting. Have a safe weekend!

To learn more about Forward March Inc. click here…

Holiday Networking Mixer Recap

First things first. All the folks here at Forward March Inc. (FMI) would like to extend a huge THANK YOU TO ALL OUR FRIENDS who showed up to our holiday mixer last night. Each and every one of you, like us, have a huge place in your heart for veterans and your presence, fellowship, stories and joy made this event very special!

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FMI would also like to thank everyone for all the donations for St. Pj’s Children’s Home. We are still collecting so contact us anytime before December 19.

Wow, what a great week! There is never down time and its never dull trying to make American industry great through providing veterans with careers. If you ask anyone who works at FMI they will tell you that it’s the best job they have ever had. We are a company of veterans, from diverse backgrounds, that all share the same passion… helping our nation’s greatest treasure, our veterans. Our corporate culture is one that encompasses hard work and dedication but we also never pass up the opportunity to have a great time. We all know that life is short and we share the attitude that we want to make every moment count. These things cannot be summed up better than they were last night at our first annual Holiday Networking Mixer. FMI gathered together to exchange stories, enjoy good food and amazing live music.

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Our company is very honored to have a special relationship with veteran/wounded warrior/hero/musician/ and all around great guy J.P. Lane. J.P. Lane is a US Army wounded warrior from Green Bay, Wisconsin and is an amazing and up and coming musician so be sure to keep your eye on him in the future.  You can check him out on the web HERE. J.P. provided the live music for our gathering last night. He actually provided so much more from inspiration to entertainment. Make sure you follow FMI on our blog, Facebook, and Linkedin pages to keep up with some amazing things we are hoping to do with J.P. next year through our Forward March Inc. Operation Outreach non profit program. You can read more about our Operation Outreach programs here…

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FMI would like to give a shout out and heart-felt thanks to our neighbor Rob Deering and the Beacon Circle Coffee House and Gallery. Our party was held in our corporate offices and in the Beacon Circle Coffee House next door. You can learn more about the Beacon Circle Coffee House and Gallery which is a part of DMI here…

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To see more of the pics and vids from last night’s party friend us on Facebook here…

If you have pics, share them with us on Facebook!

Veteran Education Equals Opportunity – TODAY!

educationToday’s veterans are among the most educated, technically savvy, and diverse group of veterans in our nation’s history. Today’s veterans even, at their lowest levels of rank, have experience in working in diverse environments, putting leadership training to use in the workplace, working in trusted environments, and communicating clearly and directly. Veterans transitioning out of the military today have certifications and training in a wide variety of fields including, but not limited to, truck driving, mechanics, engineering, IT and computer networking, IT security, and much more.

Today 82.8% of military officers have a bachelors degree or higher and about 30% of veterans over the age of 25 have a bachelors degree or higher. 

Many veterans wonder what they can do for a career if they do not have an education or enough education. There are actually many options. With the military educational money that veterans have there are opportunities in traditional colleges as well as other educational programs. Traditional colleges generally have a veteran representative that can help veterans navigate the application process and access their military education money.

Lifehacker just released a great article that can introduce veterans to just some of what they can do with just an associates degree. Check it out here…

If you are not sure if you should go for that two year degree / associate’s degree then read this article over at Military.com – 3 Reasons to Get Your Associate Degree

Check out some of these great opportunities. While they are in the San Antonio area they can give you the details you need to go and look for something in your area that is similar. Programs such as these exist in many cities across the U.S.

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CERTIFICATE FOR APARTMENT MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN TRAINING

JANUARY 20 – FEBRUARY 6, 2015

GOODWILL GOOD CAREERS ACADEMY 12332
“IH-10 WEST AT DE ZAVALA

Seminar hours: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

For information on how to apply for this opportunity call 210/924-8581 (ext. 5907).

Veterans who wish to go down the road of entrepreneurship have a lot of opportunities today to learn, get mentored and find proven methods of business success. If you are interested in joining the ranks of veterans who own their own business then you will definitely be interested in some of the outstanding opportunities available to you right now. Many of these opportunities are free for veterans! While many of these opportunities are in the San Antonio area we encourage veterans to look into their local Chamber, SBA, and university locations to find out if programs like this are being offered in their location.

We posted a while back that the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce is “re-booting” their entrepreneurial boot-camp for military veterans. You can learn more about that here.

Veterans who want to join the SBA and start down the track of entrepreneurship shouldcheck out the latest article on the San Antonio Business Journal site. The SBA is extending their fee waiver program for veterans through 2015!

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Veterans and transitioning military interested in starting their own business should also check out the San Antonio Small Business Development Center at UTSA. This program offers a number of benefits including special veterans assistance.

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Forward March Inc. has an outstanding relationship with our customer Fred Astarie Dance Studios. You owe it to yourself to check out our previous post to learn more about the outstanding opportunities for employment and even franchise ownership with them.

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For veterans who want to learn a new skill, or expand on a skill-set should check out the fine folks over at Workforce Solutions Alamo and Alamo Colleges are collaborating to offer short-term skills development programs in the areas of Information Technology, the Manufacturing Industry and Aerospace. Learn more here. 

Super Millennials; Hiring the Best of a Generation

hiring the best of a generationIts 0430 in the morning at a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Afghanistan. A 30-year old Platoon Sergeant performs a Pre-Combat Inspection (PCI) with her team. Helmets and ballistic eye protection are in place and canteens are filled. Weapons are cleaned, zeroed, and a function check has been performed. As she briefs her platoon on the current mission, it’s cold and windy, but the team is motivated and ready to get to work. Surprisingly, this well-oiled machine is made up entirely of millennials, the cohort of Americans born between 1980 and the mid-2000s.

For these Soldiers, their generation is known for being lazy, yet they are up while the rest of the word sleeps. The generation labeled as pampered has been sleeping on cots and eating Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) for months. They don’t make excuses. They and are held accountable for their actions and the actions of their team. Not everyone gets a trophy for being there. Only the best are called Corporal or Sergeant.

The global war on terror has largely been fought on the backs of this generation of outstanding and dedicated young people.  In fact, nearly 70% of the Medals of Honor awarded in both Iraq and Afghanistan were earned by millennials. The remaining 30% were earned by Gen Xers.

Here are the top ten reasons to hire millennial veterans:

  1. Military veterans have a global perspective that most can only imagine. They have been stationed around the world and adapt easily to their environment. They are aware of, and have a respect for cultural differences.
  2. Millennial veterans are calm under pressure. They have operated in the most chaotic of situations and got the job done.
  3. Veterans are known for being team oriented and veteran millennials are no different. Soldiers, Sailor, Airmen, Guardians, and Marines rely on each other to accomplish the mission in life or death situations. Now that’s teamwork!
  4. Millennial veterans are excellent leaders forged in over thirteen years of global conflict. They are loyal, dedicated, and highly motivated.
  5. Millennials generally are viewed as over-confident. Millennial veterans, on the other hand, are professionals with a high degree of integrity. They have an air of respect and a sense of honor.
  6. Veterans are responsible. These millennials know how to make decisions and they take responsibility for their successes and failures.
  7. In an age of sedimentary life-styles spending all day behind a video game, millennial veterans are physically fit, generally drug free, and take fewer sick days than their contemporaries.
  8. Millennial veterans have thousands of dollars in training and educational benefits that often times go unused. If they need additional training, it will be paid for. There are tax incentives, as well, just for hiring them.
  9. Veterans are highly trained and well-educated with the skills the civilian workforce is looking for and millennial veterans are no different.
  10. Millennials are looking for meaningful work and they found it in the military. As they leave the service, they will join and stay with your company If you engage them and make them part of the team.

VETERANS U NEED THEMAttracting military talent can be an overwhelming task, especially for those organizations that do not understand military culture. Forward March’s (FMI) team has over 110 years of combined military experience with over 35 years dedicated specifically to hiring veterans. FMI can train your staff to attract, hire, and retain top military talent. We have a comprehensive Military Talent Hiring Guide and outstanding training that can get your department staffing positions very quickly. We can also help you to develop a pipeline and hiring strategy for success and train your human resource department on all the best ways to recruit military talent. If your company is committed to hiring military veterans, let FMI show you how.

~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services

73 Year Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack

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Just before 8:00 On December 7th, 1941 Japan launched a surprise attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 2,403 U.S. citizens, to include 800 civilians, were killed during the attack and an additional 1,178 people were wounded. The U.S. had 8 battleships of the Pacific Fleet, which were sunk or badly damaged. This attack launched the U.S. into World War II. Today there are less than 5,000 survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack. Yesterday marked the 73rd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.

 Let us never forget the brave souls who lost their lives on that day 73 years ago.

Survivors Gather to Remember Pearl Harbor Attack.

November 5th Weekly Roundup

Enduring FreedomIts Friday again, so break out those red shirts! R.E.D. Friday is here so remember everyone deployed!

Learn more about RED Fridays:

http://redshirtfridays.org/  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Support_our_troops

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Our-Troops-Wear-Red-Fridays/188809874489323

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Here is the weekly roundup.

Its been yet another busy week for us here at Forward March Inc. but we have put together some links for you to check out.

For Businesses:

We would encourage everyone who is even remotely entertaining the idea of hiring veterans to read the latest pro-veteran hiring article in Forbes magazine.

Why Every Company Should Consider Hiring Veterans: It Delivers Big Business Value 

Courtney Billington, the author of this article, makes some very good points on veteran hiring for businesses. Just read this section to get a feel for what Billington says veterans can do for your organization.

Across industries, we need to challenge ourselves to translate the military experience to the corporate environment. There is a level of education, awareness, and openness needed to better understand the value of veterans and the skills they bring. Consider a few examples:

  • “Distributed, accounted for, and transported mission critical equipment and supplies to over 20,000 personnel.” Now there’s someone who understands project and supply chain management!
  • “Taught Unit Operations personnel fire mission processing and single-channel ground-to-air radio system digital and voice communications.” I think this person could handle training corporate personnel on technical matters or could manage our information technology projects.
  • “Generated $2.3 million in savings, exceeding original objective of $500K, through management of 100+ high value commodities.” Financial acumen with an appreciation of business impact? No problem there!

For Veterans and Transitioning Military:

ATA sets 100,000-veteran, two-year hiring goal for US trucking 

Veterans Put Their Skills on the Line at Toyota Texas

5 Fortune 500 companies transforming the job market for veterans

Howard Schultz and Starbucks are trying to shift how veterans are hired

More than 30 employers, all hiring, seek out veterans

Recruit Military also has a nice list of veteran job fairs which you can find here… 

As always, if you hear of veteran hiring opportunities let us know and we will post them.