July 25 is National Hire a Veteran Day. While hiring Veterans should be an everyday priority for all employers, this annual observance provides a reminder for employers to consider hiring Veterans as they fill open positions, especially in our current environment.
The good news is that many employers understand the value Veterans bring to the workforce. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans on the whole are weathering the COVID-19 economy a little better than the general population. In June 2020, the Veteran unemployment rate was 8.8 percent, down from 9.1 percent in May. The comparable non-Veteran unemployment rate was 11.1 percent in June.
This is just part of the picture. According to a study conducted by Call of Duty Endowment, nearly one-third of Veteran job seekers are underemployed, a rate 15.6 percent higher than non-Veteran job seekers.
Military service is the best on-the-job leadership training in the world. Veterans bring so much to the workplace, but it is important to help them invest in professional development to continue to grow and thrive in their civilian careers.
At the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, we provide experiences that help promote both employment and career advancement opportunities for Veterans.
The first Saturday of each month, we host a virtual Rally Point where we provide networking, resiliency and fellowship opportunities for Veterans and their supporters. Due to the pandemic, we moved this in-person program online and grew our audience by thousands. We recently hosted a Facebook Live event to provide tips on how to job hunt during the pandemic with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Hiring our Heroes Foundation and Still Serving Veterans, a Veterans Service Organization from the Georgia/ Alabama region. This program is still available on our Facebook page. Join us on Aug. 1 for our next virtual Rally Point on Facebook Live as we explore Vetrepreneurship with Josh Peyton and learn about his amazing journey as the CEO of the Veteran Golfers Association.
In May, we marked the graduation of our first participants in the Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Leadership for Veterans through The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs. This pilot program was launched in February in partnership with the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. Due to its overwhelming success, it will be offered online during the 2020-2021 academic year, ensuring that Veterans and their supporters across the country can benefit from this continuing education opportunity. Watch our website, Nationalvmm.org, for registration details.
Veterans are proof that innovation and creativity thrive in the face of adversity. Trained and comfortable operating in ambiguous environments, they understand as co-workers, community members and Americans, we are all stronger together. Veterans make a difference because they are hardwired to serve, they want to succeed and they have always been part of a team or unit.
During this transformational time in history, we should look to Veterans and their desire to serve and make a difference as we continue the hard work of economic recovery from this pandemic. Hire a Veteran today.
Lt. General Michael Ferriter, U.S. Army (Retired)
President and CEO