Employers often turn to veterans for their sense of discipline, timeliness, and dedication to mission accomplishment. The government may provide tax credits to companies that hire veterans, and in many ways hiring a veteran can be a good business decision.
With this in mind, employers would do well to put the extra energy into their recruitment strategies when it comes to bringing highly qualified veterans on board. One way to recruit veterans early in the separation process is to offer training opportunities through the DoD SkillBridge program.
The DoD SkillBridge Program
The program offers training programs in the form of internships and apprenticeships, with the hope that the employer will be able to hire the veteran when the training is over. Companies such as General Motors, Georgia Power, and Microsoft are already participating. Service members continue to receive their military pay and benefits while participating, so the training provider does not pay anything.
High-demand industry sectors are likely to do particularly well with this program, and recently President Obama announced a SkillBridge program (Solar Ready Vets) that trains service members for jobs in the solar industry.
What Veterans Are Eligible?
The requirements for the program state that the service member must be within 180 days of being discharged, and have served 180 days of continuous active duty. Their ability to participate in training is second to mission requirements, meaning their command has the right to rescind their approval at any time.
To discover the training and development opportunities that you and other companies offer, service members visit their installation transition office. SkillBridge has also developed a DoD SkillBridge App, where veterans can set up email and Twitter notifications based on opportunities that match their profiles.
Employers: How to Leverage Service Members
Service members will be coming to you for not only training, but in hopes of landing a job when the training is done. This can be your opportunity to have free help from a dedicated worker and to mentor young minds to grow them as part of your organization in a meaningful way.
How to List Opportunities
If your company would like to offer training programs, fill out a SkillBridge application. Optimally, training providers would already have training programs in place for prospective or new employees, and should be within 50 miles of an installation.
For More Information
Go to the program's website to learn more about the DoD SkillBridge program.