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Diversity/Careers April/May 2013




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Veterans in Action


Norfolk Southern named to Top 100 Military Friendly Employers list by G.I. Jobs magazine

Norfolk, VA – Norfolk Southern (NS, www.nscorp.com) has been named one of the nation’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers by G.I. Jobs.

Making its sixth appearance on the list, Norfolk Southern ranked thirty-second. The list of 100 companies represents the top 2 percent of more than 5,000 eligible companies with annual revenues exceeding $500 million. Criteria include strength of company military recruiting efforts, percentage of new hires with prior military service, retention programs, and company policies toward National Guard and Reserve service.

“At Norfolk Southern we believe that hiring veterans is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” says Cindy Earhart, NS vice president of human resources. “With their superb training, technical skills and leadership capabilities, veterans bring valuable skills to the railroad industry.”

Over the past six years, NS has hired 1,300 veterans. Fourteen percent of the total NS workforce, some 4,260 employees, are veterans, members of the National Guard, or reservists.

As part of its recruiting efforts, the company launched the website, www.NorfolkSouthern-veterans.jobs, which allows veterans to search for railroad employment opportunities using their military job titles. Recruiters also attend job fairs on military bases and at the federal government’s Transition Assistance Program centers. Service members preparing to leave the military can register with NS indicating their separation date and desired work locations, and recruiters will contact them with current job opportunities.

NS also provides training to help veterans who have management experience transition into supervisory roles within the company. And if veterans are called to active duty through the Reserves or National Guard while working at Norfolk Southern, they can fulfill their assignments with the assurance that their jobs will be waiting for them when they return.

In honor of Veteran’s Day on November 11, 2012, Norfolk Southern unveiled a red, white, and blue “Veterans Locomotive,” and a video, “Two Careers. One Mission. Let’s Roll,” featuring seven veterans who embarked on second careers at Norfolk Southern.


Google launches VetNet: a place for veterans and military spouses to build civilian careers

Mountain View, CA – In November 2012, Google launched VetNet (www.vetnethq.com), a free job search site, in partnership with three founding organizations: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program (www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes), the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (vets.syr.edu), and Hire Heroes USA (www.hireheroesusa.org). Through VetNet, these founding partners offer a full spectrum of employment resources for members of the community.

The site’s content and resources are organized into three tracks by objective, each hosted on its own Google+ page. The Basic Training track provides tips and advice on resumes and career search skills. The Career Connections track connects participants with industry leaders to help them find careers and build a network of professional contacts. The Entrepreneur track helps transitioning veterans get the education and information they need to start their own businesses with skill sets and ideas they already have. It also gives veterans access to workshops and college-level business courses.

Google hopes to add additional organizations and veterans groups to the site.


Walmart commits to offer jobs to honorably discharged veterans

New York, NY – Beginning on Memorial Day, Walmart (corporate.walmart.com) will offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran in his or her first twelve months off active duty. Most of these jobs will be in Walmart stores and clubs, but some will be in distribution centers and the home office.

“Hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make,” says Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon. “Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They’re quick learners and team players. They are leaders with discipline, training and a passion for service. There is a seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today more than ever.”

Walmart projects it will hire more than 100,000 veterans during the next five years.

“We believe Walmart is already the largest private employer of veterans in the country, and we want to hire more,” Simon declares. “I can think of no better group to lead in revitalizing our economy than those who have served in uniform. Through their service, veterans give us a land of freedom. When they return, it must be to a land of possibility.”

In a speech to the Business Round Table in March, First Lady Michelle Obama cited Walmart’s commitment as a good example for other corporations. “As our wars come to an end and our troops continue to come home, it's more important than ever that all of us, not just government, but our businesses and nonprofits as well, do our part to serve those who have served us so bravely. I challenge every business in America to follow Walmart’s lead by finding innovative solutions that both make sense for their workplaces and make a difference for our veterans and their families. Given what we’ve seen from Walmart and so many other companies over the past two years, we know that they will.”

Simon called on the retail industry to work together to provide greater career opportunities for veterans. “Imagine what we in retail could do together,” said Simon. “We could leave an incredible legacy as an industry. We can be the ones who step up for our heroes. And we can do this now.”


Veterans Green Jobs and Grid Alternatives join forces

Denver, CO – Veterans Green Jobs (www.veteransgreenjobs.org), a nonprofit organization that puts veterans to work in the green economic sector, is launching a partnership with Grid Alternatives (www.gridalternatives.org), an Oakland, CA-based nonprofit solar installer. The two organizations will advance nationwide training and employment opportunities for military veterans in the clean energy field.

Grid Alternatives installs solar electric systems for low-income families, using a volunteer-based model that gives community members and job trainees hands-on solar installation experience. Grid Alternatives Colorado opened its doors in the Denver area in January 2013 and hired Chuck Watkins, former senior director with Veterans Green Jobs, as its founding executive director.

“Veterans Green Jobs has been a great partner for us in Colorado from the get-go, connecting us with veteran volunteers and providing us with all manner of logistical support,” said Erica Mackie, CEO and co-founder of Grid Alternatives. “This is a great opportunity for both of our organizations to advance our shared goal of promoting green energy and increasing green employment for people who need it most.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in June 2012, 12.7 percent of veterans who have served since 2001 were unemployed in May 2012, and the youngest (18-24 years of age) were unemployed at a rate of 23.5 percent. More than one million veterans are projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016, placing increased demands on the workforce.

To help combat the unemployment problem veterans face when they return to civilian life, Veterans Green Jobs is working to connect military veterans with job and training opportunities in the green economic sector, with a goal of placing 300 veterans into jobs by mid-2013.


G4S Named top military friendly employer for 2013

Jupiter, FL – For the fourth consecutive year, G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc has been recognized as a Top 100 Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs magazine.

Veterans can be found at every level of the G4S organization, from entry-level roles to senior management. “Returning veterans and their families are a natural fit for our company,” says G4S Secure Solutions USA president Drew Levine. “They bring work experience, superior capabilities and the kind of workplace commitment we are always looking for.”

The magazine’s criteria for selection to the Top 100 list included the strength of company military recruiting efforts, the percentage of new hires with prior military service, retention programs and company policies on National Guard and Reserve service. The results are compiled from a survey sample of 5,000 companies whose annual revenues exceeded $500 million.

Patrick Dawson, G4S general manager in Pensacola, Florida, is a former command sergeant major in the U.S. Army. Dawson believes that G4S is a great place for veterans to work after leaving the military. “G4S is a top military friendly employer because our structure and professionalism align with the military,” said Dawson. “Veterans understand G4S security job standards and being held accountable for the work they do. It’s a seamless transition for veterans.”

G4S Secure Solutions provides a wide range of security services and technology solutions. For more information, visit www.g4s.com/us.



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