In 2019, about 8 percent of the U.S. adult population, or 18.8 million people, were classified as military veterans by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 200,000 service members transition from the military to civilian life each year.
For most veterans, part of this transition is finding a job where their skills, dedication, and engagement are valued. These 20 companies understand the value veterans bring to the workforce, which is why they are actively involved in hiring and supporting vets.
BAE Systems specializes in defense, aerospace, and security projects. Its regular partnerships with government agencies mean that its culture often closely aligns with these agencies, including those in the military arena.
Unsurprisingly, BAE Systems embraces the skills and experience of veterans who also understand military culture, values, and goals. The company actively seeks to hire veterans, stating that “Veterans possess the skills, character, and determination to get the job done and have the breadth and depth of talent to succeed in any business.”
Booz Allen Hamilton
Veterans at Booz Allen Hamilton are in good company. Not only did one-third of the company’s staff wear the uniform, but the company itself was founded by a veteran.
The company’s core values and approach to its work share many aspects of military culture. “If veterans can come to an organization in the civilian workforce that aligns with the military’s core values, it’s what makes them happy with their new workplace,” says George Bernloehr, who leads the company’s Veteran Recruiting Center of Excellence.
Boston Scientific seeks to recruit veterans into a wide range of positions within its company. On its veteran-focused careers webpage, the company also expresses its willingness to offer the training and support service members need to transition successfully to a career with the company.
In 2017, Boston Scientific received the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which is given to companies that show strong support of their employees in the National Guard and Reserve. The company was nominated by employee Lyle Shidla, also a member of the Minnesota Air National Guard.
Banking services provider Capital One is committed to hiring former military service members and their spouses. The company coordinates with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the Hiring Our Heroes program, seeking to place veterans with U.S. businesses in a wide range of industries. It’s also a founding member of the Chamber’s 100K Military Spouse Hiring Initiative.
The financial corporation offers interested job seekers a way to see how their military skills translate to work with the company via its online military skills translator tool.
Enterprise Holdings, the rental car company, is another organization with a strong commitment to hiring veterans.
Founded in 1957 by World War II Navy veteran Jack Taylor, Enterprise was named after the ship on which Taylor served. The company continues to honor its strong military roots today with dedicated efforts to hire military veterans as well as to serve U.S. military bases around the world.
H-E-B is a supermarket chain headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. It’s also one of the top five places for veterans in the U.S. to work, according to one poll.
“Active duty military members, veterans, and their families help make this a special place to work. We’re honored to call them partners, and we thank them for carrying the torch of liberty in service to the nation,” says Winell Herron, vice president of public affairs, diversity, and environmental affairs at H-E-B.
The Home Depot
Home improvement chain The Home Depot currently employs more than 35,000 veteran associates, and the company actively seeks to increase this number by reaching out to veterans who are looking for work.
Among other initiatives, The Home Depot offers an online Military Skills Translator tool. Veteran job-seekers can enter their military job title or code in order to see openings with The Home Depot that may offer a strong match for their skills. Job-seekers can narrow the list further by location, allowing them to focus on finding work in their home city or state.
Keller Williams Realty
Keller Williams Realty has been ranked one of the best places for veterans to work in the United States. Its commitment to hiring veterans extends beyond its own workforce, as well. Keller Williams Realty not only hires veterans, it also encourages other businesses to do the same.
The company’s website lists several reasons that businesses should hire veterans, including their entrepreneurial nature, ability to manage change and transfer skills, and their outstanding team building and technical skills.
Leidos focuses on applying information technology, engineering, and science to solve problems for its clients. The company lists integrity, collaboration and commitment among its values — traits that the military also emphasizes.
Recognizing the ways that military values align with its company values, Leidos actively seeks out veterans to join its workforce. The company’s Military Veteran Program, or Operation MVP, offers outreach and assistance to veterans, including regular chat sessions.
Currently, about 20 percent of Leidos’s workforce, or 7,700 of its workers, are military veterans. The company has a stated goal of hiring 500 veterans during 2020.
Computing giant Microsoft is known for hiring the best of the best. To Microsoft, this means taking active steps to hire veterans.
The company’s Microsoft Software and Systems Academy offers specialized training to current service members. Those who complete the program can interview at Microsoft or one of the company’s hiring partners when they leave the service.
Global security company Northrop Grumman seeks to achieve both its own company goals and the goal of successfully integrating recently departed service members with civilian life. The company estimates that 20 percent of its 85,000 employees are veterans, and about 1,600 are reservists.
In order to help veterans transition to work with the company, Northrop Grumman provides a guide for veteran job-seekers. The guide helps veterans determine whether they’d be a good fit for the company and to envision their careers.
Due to the company’s efforts in global security, Northrop Grumman can be an excellent option for veterans who want to continue serving their country. “Being able to see the direct impact my work provides to the warfighter is incredibly rewarding. Plus, sharing a similar background with my counterparts in the service makes Northrop Grumman a fulfilling place to be,” says Brodie Trout, a U.S. Army service member who now works for Northrop Grumman.
Pactiv seeks to change the way we buy, carry out, and store food with an emphasis on disposable food packaging options. The company has a strong commitment to its own goals, and to its greater social responsibility within the context of the U.S. and the rest of the world.
National Women Veterans United lists Pactiv among the companies that seek to hire veterans. The company is also committed to promoting from within, making it a place for veterans not only to find a job in the civilian workforce, but to grow a career.
Millions of people worldwide use Paypal to send, receive, and manage money. The company maintains its high level of customer service in part through its commitment to finding and keeping veterans on its team.
“When employers look at the qualities that they want in candidates, military veterans have honed some of those skills in their career. Things like teamwork and discipline [and] leadership, and these are things that they can bring to the workforce and make us a much better company,” says Paypal CFO John Rainey. Since 2017, Paypal has added at least 180 veterans to its workforce.
Power Home Remodeling
Power Home Remodeling is one of the nation’s largest exterior home remodeling companies. The company shares several core values with the armed services, including an emphasis on constant improvement.
The company so values military veterans’ contributions to its culture and goals that it runs its own military affairs program, led by National Director of Military Affairs Michael Hansen. The program seeks to empower veterans to succeed in civilian life and to harness their skills and dedication to help Power Home Remodeling meet its own business goals.
Like many companies that specialize in military-related work, Raytheon maintains its high standards and internal culture by hiring veterans.
The company actively recruits veterans, reserve members, and military spouses. Its approach is comprehensive: Not only does Raytheon seek to integrate these individuals into its work, it also helps them reintegrate with their communities .
Southwest Airlines focuses on air travel, but its hiring managers actively recruit former service members as well. Several veterans who work at Southwest contribute their time and energy to the company’s Military Ambassador Program, helping workers transition to civilian life and helping the company embrace new veterans’ talents and abilities.
“Our purpose is to connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. We simply couldn’t fulfill our purpose if not for the sacrifices and dedication of our military men and women,” says Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines.
Subaru of America
Subaru of America has built an entire marketing campaign around the image of a nature-loving, forward-thinking enthusiast. The company builds its vehicles and reaches its goals through the hard work of the veterans whose careers it supports.
Individual sub-companies related to Subaru of America also run their own active attempts to recruit veterans. For example, Subaru of Indiana encourages military veterans to apply and provides information regarding programs that make it easier for them to relocate.
Vrbo helps people book vacation rentals around the world. Its parent company, HomeAway, is also interested in reaching out to veterans seeking employment.
Vrbo offers a culture that benefits from veterans’ technical skills and teamwork approach. As a company with a global focus, Vrbo also offers adventurous veterans the chance to live, travel or work nearly anywhere.
Nationwide pharmacy chain Walgreens also offers programs specific to veterans, helping them transition to civilian life and contribute to the success of a team in a fulfilling way.
In coordination with Southern New Hampshire University, Walgreens runs its Helping Veterans With Educational and Retail Opportunities (HERO) program. It focuses on helping veterans get hired, and then take their skills into management positions. The company also offers active support of veterans through its company-specific Business Resource Group, military leave, military bridge pay, and more.
Wounded Warriors Project
For some veterans, continuing to serve their country in a civilian role is a must. Among these veterans are those who wish to serve their fellow veterans as they return to civilian life.
Wounded Warrior Project recognizes that, often, the best people to help newly-minted veterans are those who have already made that transition. Not only do they help veterans find jobs, they also hire veterans committed to serving other veterans.
Military veterans are cross-trained in multiple skills as part of their work in the armed forces, says Sean Peek at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce blog. They know how to coordinate their efforts as part of a team in order to reach a larger goal.
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