Tech Companies Set High Veteran Hiring Expectations

space jobs

By Debbie Gregory.

Matching up veterans and transitioning service members with tech jobs makes sense, since many of those who have served have already utilized tech-related skills.

To that end, tech giants like Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and EMC pledged to hire 1,000 to 3,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. Additionally, GoDaddy and Seagate Technology have pledged to hire 200 to 500 veterans.

Joining Forces, the national employment and career development initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden now has five years of success. The program has resulted in 1.2 million veterans and military spouses receiving jobs and training.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, whose company pledged to make 25,000 veteran and military spouse hires said, “”We’re constantly looking for leaders who can invent, think big, have a bias for action, and who want to deliver for customers.” Bezos added, “Well, those principles look very familiar to the men and women who served our country in the armed forces. And also their spouses. These guys work hard and have lots of skills.”

SpaceX has a solid reputation when it comes to employing members of the military, and has been named one of the 10 best companies for veterans in the country. The company boasts a high percentage of recent hires who were veterans, as well as a 95% retention rate among hired former service members.

This talent pool has also worked in the most challenging and stressful environments imaginable.

At MilitaryConnection.com, we offer a multitude of resources for veterans and military spouses who are seeking employment, including our Virtual Job Fair and our Job Board.  We also spread the word to employers about the tax credits available to employers who hire veterans.

We salute and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

VetTechTrek Launches Project Standard for Veterans

vettrek

By Debbie Gregory.

Over the last 12 months, VetTechTrek has been working towards a goal of helping military veterans network with the technology industry. To that end, they hosted multiple “treks,” personal visits for 180 veterans and military spouses inside of 60 of the world’s best tech companies. Some of the companies represented have included Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook and seed fundY Combinator.

The nonprofit was started by Steve Weiner and Mike Slagh, two navy veterans who now work in the tech industry in San Francisco.

A victim of its own success, VetTechTrek was overwhelmed with requests from both veterans and companies wanting to participate. The next problem to solve was how best to make their resources more readily available.

The solution is Project Standard, an e-learning platform that will house a library of resources to help veterans build great post-military careers. Project Standard will provide unprecedented access to tools and inspiration for hundreds of thousands of transitioning veterans who seek meaning and success in their next career.

It’s no secret veterans represent a diverse asset that immediately augments an organization’s culture and ability to drive global impact.

While the group will continue running a few in-person treks each year, the majority of the nonprofit’s resources will be dedicated to Project Standard.

According to the VetTechTrek blog, Weiner and Slagh said, “The military reinvents itself faster than any organization in the world and the needs of its service members will continue to change rapidly. As recently transitioned veterans, we have a short window to make a lasting impact on the one million professionals who have held huge responsibilities very early in their lives and who will transition to the US economy in the next four years.”

If your company is interested in partnering, click here.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

More Bases Added to Solar Ready Vets Job Training Program

solarreadyvets

By Debbie Gregory.

In the pilot phase of the SunShot Initiative’s Solar Ready Vets program, only three military installations participated in the training our nation’s transitioning servicemembers for careers in the solar energy industry. Now, seven additional installations are participating in the highly successful program.

The program is made possible through the DoD’s SkillBridge initiative, which allows exiting military personnel to pursue civilian job training, employment skills training, apprenticeships, and internships up to six months prior to their separation.

Expanding on a previous pilot program, the training connects our nation’s skilled veterans to the solar energy industry, preparing them for careers as solar photovoltaic (PV) system installers, sales representatives, system inspectors, and other solar-related occupations.

Military bases were selected by the Department of Energy, in partnership with the Department of Defense and military branches, based on the number of exiting military personnel from the installation, the strength of the surrounding solar market, and the training capacity of nearby training institutions.

Solar Ready Vets is currently available at the following military installations:

  • Camp Pendleton in California – U.S. Marine Corps
  • Eglin Air Force Base in Florida – U.S. Air Force
  • Fort Bragg in North Carolina – U.S. Army
  • Fort Carson in Colorado – U.S. Army
  • Fort Drum in New York – U.S. Army
  • Hill Air Force Base in Utah – U.S. Air Force
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey – U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy
  • Joint Base San Antonio in Texas – U.S. Air Force and Army
  • Marine Corps Base Hawaii – U.S. Marine Corps
  • Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia – U.S. Navy

Employment in the U.S. solar industry increased 123% since 2010. The Energy Department has secured commitments from some of the largest U.S. solar companies to interview graduating military trainees for employment, a step that will help place qualified trainees in the high-paying jobs for which they received training.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Companies Commit to Jobs for Military Veterans

girlsss

By Debbie Gregory.

Joining Forces, created in 2011 by first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, has resulted in jobs for military veterans, hiring/training more than 1.2 million veterans and military spouses.

Now, 40 companies pledged more than 110,000 jobs for military veterans and military spouses over the next five years, and more committed to training them.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon has committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses in the next five years, training 10,000 veterans and spouses in cloud computing.

“We’re constantly looking for leaders who can invent, think big, have a bias for action, and who want to deliver for customers,” Bezos said. “Those principles look very familiar to the men and women who served our country in the armed forces. And also their spouses.”

The aerospace-defense sector pledged to hire a combined total of 30,000 veterans, and the telecommunications sector committed to hiring a combined total of 25,000.

“They made these commitments because time and again they saw for themselves that our veterans and military spouses are simply the best employees around,” Mrs. Obama said, reinforcing that these companies are doing the right thing.

As far as hiring for high tech jobs for veterans, she added, “If they can set up wireless networks in Baghdad or do satellite reconnaissance in the mountains of Afghanistan, I’m pretty confident that they can handle whatever’s happening in Silicon Valley.”

Mrs. Obama also stressed that she hoped the next administration would continue to make hiring veterans and military spouses a national priority

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

The Best Choice for Technical Jobs: Hiring Military Veterans

technology

By Debbie Gregory.

When it comes to employers in the technology sector seeking candidates to fill their open positions, hiring military veterans makes perfect sense. By using their problem-solving skills, their abilities to make quick decisions and their initiative, veterans are a great fit.

If you’re wondering what the top high-tech jobs for veterans are, here’s what you need to know:

  • At the top of the pay scale, Solutions Architects make a median base salary of $199,500, and this is a great position for problem solvers. Solutions architects work with their company’s clients processing feedback on their company’s product, and providing solutions based on that feedback.
  • Software Development Managers make a median base salary of $135,000, and this is another high paying position. Because this is a managerial position, your leadership skills will pay off.
  • While Software Architects make a median base salary of $130,000, there are not many openings in this career choice.
  • Data scientists can expect a median base salary of $116,840, and the demand is fairly high. The position entails knowing how to manage and store data.
  • Foundational skills required for Project Managers are very similar to the skills learned in the military. This position’s base salary is approximately $106,680.
  • Analytics Managers, who analyze data and making conclusions about it, can expect to make a salary of around $105,000.
  • With a median base salary of $95,000, Software Engineers are in high demand.
  • UX Designers make a median base salary of $91,800, and these jobs are in high demand.
  • Mobile Developers can expect to earn around $90,000. These positions are also in extremely high demand.
  • QA Managers monitor software testing processes or test new products, and make a median base salary of $85,000.

If you have a technical background, consider one of these great career paths.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Muster Assembles to Discuss Jobs For Military Veterans

muster

By Debbie Gregory.

More than 300 representatives of veteran employers attended a Starbucks’ hosted muster to discuss jobs for military veterans.

Starbucks and the Schultz Family Foundation brought participants together for their second muster, an Old English military term for the process of accounting for members of a unit, generally after a battle — to help with the transition from military service to civilian careers.

“Last time, we had about 150 people in attendance and one of the suggestions that we heard that resonated was that we need to broaden the conversation,” said Daniel Pitasky, executive director of the Schultz Family Foundation. “The idea was that each person who came to the last Muster would bring someone new to the conversation.”

The effort is a continuation of Starbucks’ commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2018.

Hiring veterans makes good business sense. Veterans have attributes that employers look for. They are leaders, committed to something greater than themselves. They understand diversity. They are able to accomplish a mission under the hardest of conditions.

Retired Army Gen. Ray Odierno said that while veterans are quick learners, they need assistance from their employers to close the military-civilian gap.

“We need the long-term civilian expertise within a company mentoring and helping veterans,” Odierno said.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who’s on the Starbucks board of directors, agreed that civilians and veterans need to get to know one another so that they can better understand each others culture.

In addition to addressing employing veterans, the subject of retention was at the top of the list.

JPMorgan Chase commissioned a study with the Center for a New American Security to survey companies about veteran retention. The results should be published around Veterans Day.

Another topic of discussion focused on employing military spouses.

Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families, said,“The very best thing you can give a transitioning veteran is a spouse with a job.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Uber Demonstrates Good Corporate Citizenship through $1 Million Donation

ubermil

By Debbie Gregory.

Uber has reached its goal of signing up 50,000 U.S. veterans as drivers. And to celebrate, the company is making a very generous donation to a number of veterans groups.

Uber is giving $1 million to a select few military organizations, including our friends at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and Homes for our Troops. Also receiving funds will be the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The funding comes directly from Uber, based on recommendations from the company’s UberMilitary Advisory Board, which includes former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

September, 2014 saw the launch of UberMilitary, giving former service members an opportunity to earn a flexible income. One of the goals of the campaign was to work with veterans and “empower them as entrepreneurs and small business owners.” Nearly half of the veterans who have signed up have started driving with the company, and Uber said it’s now focused on “getting more folks on the road.”

Emil Michael, senior vice president, spent stints in public service as a White House fellow and as an aide to Gates. After seeing how difficult it was for some veterans to find jobs upon leaving the armed forces, Michael said, he saw how Uber could fill a need.

“The thing that was missing was an income-earning opportunity that was extremely flexible,” Michael said. “When you come back, maybe you’re studying for your next degree, maybe you have medical issues.”

In addition to getting more veterans driving, the company is building a special savings program that will offer expanded and unique rewards to members of the UberMilitary community.

Uber also hopes to broaden its service to military passengers, and is possibly going to launch a program that will pay more to drivers will when they start or end a trip at a military base.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Veteran Unemployment Down, but CA Still Facing Veteran Employment Challenges

cabear

By Debbie Gregory.

The once-high unemployment rate among America’s military veterans has reversed course and is now lower than in the general population. The concerted national effort to address veteran employment, coupled with their sought-after essential skills training has likely had an effect on February’s national unemployment rate for veterans, down to 4.4 percent.

California, with the largest population of veterans, is still facing veteran employment challenges, and battling an unemployment rate for veterans that remains higher than the rate for the civilian population.

Chris Lu, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, said that helping veterans transition into civilian jobs remains “one of our highest commitments.”

Hiring veterans isn’t just the right thing to do, it is also good for the bottom line. The government is assisting in that arena by offering tax credits for employers who are hiring veterans.

Additionally, veterans can take advantage of both on-the-job (OJT) and apprenticeship training programs, available to veterans using their VA education benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill. These programs allow Veterans to learn a trade or skill through training on the job participation rather than attending formal classroom instruction. And this isn’t just for the jobs often known for apprenticeship opportunities, such as plumbing and welding, but for healthcare jobs for veterans and high tech jobs for veterans as well.

Susan S. Kelly, who leads DoD’s Transition to Veterans Program Office, said employers are seeking the professional “essential skills” ingrained in every veteran.

“Employers have been telling us the last 18 months, ‘We can train them in technical skills, but the [other skills] take years to develop,” Kelly said.

Those essential skills include leadership, ability to handle work stress, persistence, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, teamwork and team-building, oral and written communication, decision making, training people, supervising, critical thinking and project planning.

“The heads of corporations say they spend millions of dollars every year teaching their managers leadership skills,” she said, and employers have learned that veterans arrive at the workplace already equipped with these skills.

So why is California lagging? Lu said, “As we rightfully celebrate the success we’ve had, we need to understand that not all veterans have gained equal amounts. Younger veterans are an issue. That’s partly because the unemployment rate for young people generally is higher than it is for more experienced workers. Women veterans continue to face a variety of issues, not unlike women entering the workforce in general. There still remain challenges with veterans in terms of substance-abuse issues and mental-health issues.”

SunShot Initiative Creates Jobs for Military Veterans

army-solar-panels

By Debbie Gregory.

In the first workforce training partnership between a civilian federal agency, the Department of Defense and individual military branches, the SunShot Initiative’s Solar Ready Vets program is training our nation’s transitioning servicemembers for careers in the solar energy industry. Upon completion of the program, these veterans are ready for careers as solar photovoltaic (PV) system installers, sales representatives, system inspectors, and other solar-related occupations, great jobs for military veterans.

In the U.S., employment in the solar industry has steadily increased 123% over the past five years. Veterans are strong candidates to fill these positions because they are disciplined, motivated, and technically savvy.

Solar energy is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States and a major source of new jobs. Employment in the solar industry is expected to grow by nearly 15% in 2016, continuing into 2020 – with rising demand for more highly-trained, skilled workers. With at least 190,000 veterans leaving the U.S. military each year for the next several years, the Solar Ready Vets program matches highly qualified individuals with growing industry demand.

The Energy Department has secured commitments from some of the largest U.S. solar companies to interview graduating military trainees for employment, a step that will help place qualified trainees in the high-paying jobs for which they received training. So far, the program has been hugely successful, with, every graduate of the program having received at least one job offer from a solar company.

During the pilot phase, the program has been tested and designed  at three military installations: Camp Pendleton in California, Fort Carson in Colorado, and Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.  The Energy Department is working with the Department of Defense to expand the program to a total of ten military bases by late spring 2016.

Future locations will be evaluated based on the number of exiting military personnel, the strength of the surrounding solar market, and the training capacity of nearby DOE-supported training institutions.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

On-The-Job Training and Apprenticeship Opportunities for Veterans

onthejobtraining

In today’s competitive job market, those seeking employment must create their own career paths by seeking out opportunities to develop skills and experience.

Both on-the-job (OJT) and apprenticeship training programs are available for Veterans using their VA education benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill. These programs allow Veterans to learn a trade or skill through training on the job participation rather than attending formal classroom instruction.

The programs offered typically include a training contract for a specific period of time with an employer or union. At the end of the training, a job certification is issued or journeyman status achieved.

While most Veterans receive a salary from the training employer or union during training veterans can expect that as their skills increase, so may their salaries. GI Bill payments are issued monthly after VA receives certification of hours worked from the employer or union.

There are a wide variety of on-the-job and apprenticeship opportunities available to veterans. Unfortunately, these programs are not available to active duty service members or spouses using a transferred benefit.

Although the participation requirements are the same for all GI Bill programs, the payment amount varies depending on the program. View the payment rates for your GI Bill program.

Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients. The payment rates are as follows:

  • You will receive 100 percent of your applicable MHA during the first six months of training in these increments: •80 percent of your applicable MHA during the second six months of training
  • 60 percent of your applicable MHA during the third six months of training
  • 40 percent of your applicable MHA during the fourth six months of training
  • 20 percent of your applicable MHA during the remainder of the training
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients will also receive up to $83 per month for books and supplies.

All other GI Bill programs. For all other GI Bill programs, the payment rates are as follows:

  • 75 percent of the full-time GI Bill rate for the first six months of training
  • 55 percent of the full-time GI Bill rate for the second six months of training
  • 35 percent of the full-time GI Bill rate for the remainder of the training program

Employers interested in participating in this program should review the Understanding On-The-Job Training & Apprenticeship Approval Guide. Employers can also contact their local State Approving Agency to determine which programs Veterans should enroll in to maximize their VA educational benefits.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.