Want to add diversity by hiring veterans? Make sure policies don’t get in the way

November 20, 2016 0 COMMENTS

This month’s celebration of Veterans Day may have sparked interest among employers to recruit and hire veterans. After all, many employers tout the diversity of thought and skills employees with military experience bring to the workforce. Too often, though, policies and a lack of understanding throw up barriers to bringing veterans on board.  young man with split careers businessman and soldier

State licensing and certification requirements often are responsible for the barriers veterans face, but help may be on the way on those fronts. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently released a toolkit to help states knock down hurdles presented by state licensure and third-party certification systems. A DOL blog post explains that the kit includes best practices, tips, and resources to accelerate initiatives from the various states to address gaps in veterans’ licensing and certification.

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Need workers? First lady touts talents of veterans and military spouses

June 19, 2016 0 COMMENTS

As July 4 approaches, many employers are anxious to declare a holiday so their employees can enjoy the nation’s birthday festivities. But when the fireworks are over, they may be looking to hire the kind of talent so often celebrated on Independence Dayveterans and military spouses.  Smiling young businessman shaking hands with a soldier

Many employers have come to appreciate the diversity of experience that people with military ties can bring to a business. And first lady Michelle Obama, along with Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, hope their Joining Forces initiative helps even more employers bring on veterans and military spouses.

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Unemployment rate for veterans at lowest point since 2008

July 19, 2015 0 COMMENTS

On March 24, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released unemployment numbers showing that the 2014 unemployment rate among military veterans dropped to its lowest point since 2008. Employers’ recognition of the strengths that veterans bring to the workforce is at least one factor for this drop in unemployment. Veteran at Work

Numbers continue to improve

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Military downsizing and recruiting opportunities: What HR should know

June 14, 2015 0 COMMENTS

As the nation’s military continues its downsizing phase and unemployment statistics for veterans remain significant, attention is turning to efforts intended to help veterans find jobs. Civilian employers have been focusing on ways to recruit former service members, and more than a handful of states have passed laws in recent months to allow employers to give preference to veterans not just in government jobs but in the private sector as well.  Portrait of a young man with split careers businessman and soldi

Steven Parker, vice president of customer success and business transformation at Achievers, an employee rewards and recognition platform, has a message for human resources professionals trying to bring veterans into their ranks: Change your focus.

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Military downsizing presents opportunity, challenge for employers

March 16, 2014 0 COMMENTS

A thread running through a succession of news stories is sending a clear message to employers: The military is shrinking its ranks and the pressure is on civilian employers to hire more veterans.  VeteransAtWork

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced new downsizing plans for the nation’s armed forces in February, explaining that budget cuts are going so deep and coming so quickly that “we cannot shrink the size of our military fast enough.”

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Resources help employers bring veterans to workplace

June 16, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

It’ll soon be July 4th, a day many employers mark by declaring a holiday so employees can have time for patriotic celebrations. But many of those people so fervently celebrated – the nation’s veterans – would be happier to be earning a paycheck than to be feted with a parade.

Recent statistics show improvement in the employment rate for veterans over the last year, but officials note more progress is needed. Figures compiled by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University show that the unemployment rate for all veterans in May 2013 was 6.6 percent. That’s down from 7.8 percent in May 2012 but up from 6.2 percent in April 2013. The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans isn’t quite so favorable. It was 7.3 percent in May 2013, compared to 12.7 percent in May 2012.

Despite relatively low unemployment numbers, the picture isn’t all positive. The unemployment rate for the youngest post-9/11 veterans is still well into double digits. The rate for those ages 20-24 was 17.7 percent in May 2013, down from 22.1 percent in May 2012. The rate for nonveterans ages 20-24 was 13.4 percent in May 2013 and 13.2 percent in May 2012. read more…

Atten-hut! Know your USERRA obligations

June 16, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Steve Jones

Q What are my obligations to employees who are in the military, are called to serve, and then seek to return to their civilian jobs? What if an employee will be deployed for more than a year?

A The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) governs the employment of military servicemembers. USERRA, which is a federal law and therefore applies in all states, is intended to ensure that people who serve or have served in the armed forces, reserves, National Guard, or other uniformed services (1) are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service, (2) are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from military duty, and (3) are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service. You must be aware of your obligations under USERRA before you hire military servicemembers, during their employment, and while they are away from their jobs because of service-related duties.

Application of the law

First, you may not deny someone initial employment because of past, present, or future military service. You can defend your company against a USERRA claim by presenting evidence that you would have taken the same action if the job applicant didn’t have military service obligations. Detailed documentation, including comprehensive interview notes and in-depth explanations of your reasons for not hiring prospective employees, will help your defense. read more…

Veterans Soldiering On Through Tough Job Market

May 20, 2012 0 COMMENTS

By Tammy Binford

The recession has been discouraging to job seekers of all stripes – those with advanced degrees as well as those without higher education, those in specialized fields and those looking for just any kind of work. Certainly job seekers transitioning out of the military aren’t immune to the difficulties posed by the tough job market. This article will examine why some veterans are having trouble transitioning from the military to employment and what employers can do to help.

Not Just a Statistic

A report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued in March shows how recent veterans are faring in their quest to find employment. Veterans who served on active duty any time since September 2001 – a group labeled Gulf War-era II veterans – saw an unemployment rate of 12.1 percent for the year in 2011. That compares to an 8.3 percent 2011 unemployment rate for all veterans (Gulf War-era II vets as well as vets from other time periods). The overall U.S. jobless rate in 2011 was 8.9 percent, according to another BLS report.

A telling statistic in the March BLS report illustrates the difficulty the youngest veterans are having finding work outside the military. Young male veterans (those ages 18-24) who served during Gulf War era II had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent in 2011, much higher than the 17.6 percent jobless rate of young male nonveterans in 2011. read more…

New Tax Credits Available for Hiring Veterans

February 19, 2012 0 COMMENTS

By H. Mark Adams and B. Trevor Wilson

Employers now have a powerful new incentive for hiring recently discharged and other unemployed veterans. Under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, enacted by Congress this past November, employers may receive significant income work opportunity tax credits for hiring unemployed veterans, including:

  • 40 percent of the employee’s first year’s wages, up to $6,000 (i.e., a tax credit of up to $2,400) for each veteran hired who receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits;
  • 40 percent of first-year wages, up to $6,000 (i.e., a tax credit of up to $2,400) for each veteran hired who was unemployed for a period of at least four weeks but less than six months during the year ending on the hire date;
  • 40 percent of first-year wages, up to $12,000 (i.e., a tax credit of up to $4,800) for each veteran hired who has a service- connected disability and is hired not more than one year after being discharged or released from active duty; read more…

Iraq War Veterans Coming Home

December 11, 2011 0 COMMENTS

On October 21, 2011, President Barack Obama announced “After nearly 9 years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.” At the time, America had already withdrawn nearly 100,000 troops from Iraq, leaving nearly 40,000 “non-combat” troops to come home by the December 31 deadline set in 2008. Referencing plans for troop withdrawal in Afghanistan as well, Obama declared that “the tide of war is receding” and that the number of troops deployed “will continue to go down.” As we welcome our veterans home, here are some facts about that population from the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • In 2010, there were 21.8 million military veterans in the United States.

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