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Corporate America Reaches Out to Veterans

Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. - 01.15.2010 Corporate America has joined forces with this country's veterans to provide the skills and mentorship that they need to rejoin the civilian workforce.

"They have experience and character and all those military traits that are valuable to employers," said Army Maj. Robert Lee, the employer initiative program manager for the Army National Guard's Employment and Education Outreach Branch. "They are instructors and teachers and leaders, and they know how to motivate men and women to be productive. That is what these guys bring to the work force."

The mission of Lee's office is to provide employment and educational opportunities and programs to Soldiers by leveraging their military training, leadership experience, job skills and education with civilian employers, schools and other government agencies.

Lee said the division has developed a national job bank to help Soldiers find employment opportunities if unemployed, underemployed, need to switch careers or find a new job.

"Through the employer partner initiative, we have about 840 employer partners already," Lee said. "You can search by job or geographic area."

They also look for opportunities to partner with industry. For example, Helmets to Hardhats is for veterans interested in the construction business.

Another program is American Corporate Partners, which is a nationwide mentoring program dedicated to helping veterans transition from the armed services to private enterprise. They provide career counseling and networking with professionals from some of America's largest corporations, according to their Website.

A veteran is a good investment for corporate America, because they can have an immediate and positive impact on production, Lee said. "All of these job skills and experiences that servicemen and women bring to corporate America saves them time and money."

It is important for corporate America to reach out to veterans, "(they) provided their time and service to our country," Lee said. "It's the right thing to do."

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