Why hiring veterans is good for business

 

I was very lucky to have been on the trajectory to turn my Naval academy training and college football days into a professional career. Many leaving the service, particularly the large number of those in the post 9/11 era, face a tremendous burden trying to figure out what to do next and how to find financial stability for them and their families.

 

More than 200,000 service members will be discharged from the military each year, nearly half of them in Texas and many in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Texas is home to the second largest community of veterans in the U.S., representing 8 percent of all those who have served. Of those, nearly one quarter live in North Texas. 

 

That means 1 million veterans, half a million in our great state of Texas alone, will need to reintegrate into civilian life within five years. They'll be looking for the things we all seek: gainful employment, stable housing and financial health and well-being for their families.

 

Here are two pieces of good news. For one, men and women who have served carry with them into civilian life many traits that are huge assets in the private sector. I see the wonderful qualities a veteran brings to the workplace every day. They work hard and they're team players, trustworthy and dedicated. Veterans have strong character and leadership skills ingrained into their very being.

 

That's why more employers are recognizing the benefit of hiring veterans and are undertaking specific efforts to recruit them into their companies. For example, I sit on a committee at JPMorgan Chase that created a Veteran Jobs Mission, which is a vibrant and growing coalition of more than 230 companies committed to hiring 1 million veterans. They're already hired 350,000 and counting. That's also why I founded Allies in Service, a foundation focused on helping North Texas veterans find employment and other services. 

 

Efforts like these have helped to reduce the gap in veteran unemployment when it was at its peak in 2011 and is now closer to the national average today. 

 

We still, though, face the problem of underemployment of our veterans. Many vets feel the skill set they bring to the workforce is underutilized, and hiring processes fall short of helping vets transition to the very different climate of corporate America. Likewise, we need to help managers understand how veteran employees are different and may require a slightly different approach. 

 

Dallas is home. My wife and I raised our family in Dallas and our kids and grandkids still live here. I'm proud to have played for the Dallas Cowboy and to have built my real estate business in this thriving economic environment.

 

I invest in veterans not to do them a favor; they are actually doing me a favor, because the qualities they bring to the workforce are invaluable. Let's put our words into action this Veterans Day and create economic opportunity for the honorable men and women who have served on behalf of us all. It's our duty.

 

 

By: Roger T. Staubach  |  Source: dallasnews.com