Thank You For Your Service.

We just celebrated Memorial Day – the official start of the summer season.  School’s out or will be shortly, depending where you live.  Time to head to the beach and other outdoor activities.  

However, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.  It was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.  White traditional observances of Memorial Day have diminished over the years, but there are still some notable exceptions, such groups as placing small American Flags at gravestones at National Cemeteries and the Rolling Thunder annual motorcycle rally held in Washington DC each Memorial Day weekend.  Started in 1988 with 2,500 participants, it now draws 900,000 participants and spectators – a tribute to American war heroes and a call for the government’s recognition and protection of Prisoners of War (POWs) and those Missing in Action (MIAs).

On the heels of these observations and celebrations, it’s a good time to recognize what we can do for those veterans who have returned and are struggling, especially economically.  There is a heightened awareness and concerted efforts taking place on helping our returning veterans find jobs.  What are some of the things that companies can do to hire veterans?  Here are some suggestions from the United States Department of Labor:

  • Work with the Local Veterans’ Employment Representative in the local employment service office (i.e., the One-Stop) nearest the contractor’s establishment
  • Work with the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office nearest the contractor’s establishment
  • Work with the veterans’ counselors and coordinators (“Vet-Reps”) on college campuses and outreach to protected veterans at educational institutions
  • Work with the service officers of the national veterans’ groups active in the area of the contractor’s establishment
  • Work with the veterans’ groups and veterans’ service centers near the contractor’s establishment
  • Work with the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
  • Work with any organization listed in the Employer Resources section of the National Resource Directory (http://www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov/)
  • Consult the National Resource Director’s Veterans Job Bank
  • Consider meeting with representatives from recruiting sources that represent veterans to conduct briefings about your organization and its current and future job openings and an explanation of your hiring and selection process.
  • Participate in work-study programs with the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Include protected veterans in career days, youth motivation days, and related community activities

It’s great to thank them for their service, but this is a great opportunity to honor veterans with jobs. 

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