By Debbie Gregory.
Transitioning from Active Duty to civilian life is a stressful endeavor. Most short-timers are already concerned with checking out of their commands, making sure that their discharge paperwork is in order, getting “home”, and having a place to live once they get there. Some transitioning service members are fortunate to have jobs waiting for them. But a lot of new Veterans, especially those coming straight from a deployment, are left with the added stress of having to find work once they have been discharged.
Despite the fact that many large businesses have joined coalitions for hiring Veterans, and implement Veteran Friendly initiatives, unemployment is one of the key obstacles that Vets must overcome once they are discharged. In fact, the unemployment rate for Post-9/11 Vets reached 10% in August, 2013.
While employers in law enforcement, security, and the medical field are recruiting and hiring Vets, many employers in the corporate world still believe that Veterans do not possess the required skills and experience to deem them worthy of hiring. To be honest, with the downsizing and outsourcing of Corporate America, their structure could not support the weight of hiring large numbers of Veterans anyway.
This is why Taylor Justice, an Army Veteran and Chief Business Officer of Unite Us, is encouraging small businesses to actively pursue hiring Veterans.
Unite Us is a technology platform that connects the military community to occupational resources. Small businesses could have the highest impact on the nearly one million newly discharged Vets within the next five years. There are approximately 23 million registered small businesses in the US. Found covering a variety of fields, including sales, accounting, engineering, marketing, machine operation, journalism and even management.
Veterans would be a great fit for small businesses who need employees who are used to stretching limited resources to their maximum capacity. Skills that are second nature to Veterans, like resourcefulness, adaptability, integrity and mission accomplishment, should make Vets highly desired by any small business owner.
The benefits of hiring Vets don’t stop at obtaining a quality employee. There are also financial benefits that reward companies for hiring Veterans. For example, the VA’s Special Employer Incentive program reimburses companies up to 50% of a Veteran’s wages for up to 6 months. And the Work Opportunity Tax Credit offers businesses up to $9,400 in tax credits for hiring Vets.
Small businesses are encouraged to educate and inform themselves on the benefits of hiring Vets. If small businesses begin hiring Vets en mass, they can be supporting those who served, help the economy by generating jobs, and help their business to grow and prosper through government incentives and obtaining quality employees. This is a win, win, win situation!