We owe a lot to the men and women who serve in the United States military. With thousands of veterans returning to civilian life, there are many challenges of reintegrating into civilian life. A big one is the need to find work, which can be particularly challenging for vets. In fact, the unemployment rate among vets is higher than the rest of the civilian population. In 2012 unemployment in the United States was around 8%, but for veterans, it was 10%. To address this growing disparity, businesses are increasingly offering a helping hand by training and assisting vets through philanthropic initiatives.
Whether setting up an organization, giving money, or just hiring vets into your company, there are so many different ways to give back to those who’ve served our country. Not only are former military vets some of the most hard-working and well-disciplined employees, they also have been proven to help companies grow and increase revenue.
So why are vets having a hard time finding jobs in the first place? Soldiers that enlisted into the military right out of high school are having a hard time finding work, while commissioned officers are finding it easier because of education and prior work experience. In 2014 there were more than 30 different charitable organizations that pledged $170 million to help soldiers receive job training and find a job with an initiative called The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge.
There are also many other businesses stepping up like Activision Blizzard, who has set up the Call of Duty Endowment. This endowment has the goal of getting 25,000 vets back to work by 2018 through giving $21 million dollars to organizations who effectively train and hire vets. And even Starbucks has gotten into the military mix. The CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, has given $1.7 million dollars to six different military bases to provide vets with proper job training.
Businesses are even seeing the value of hiring vets. According to a study by CEB Corporate Leadership Council, veterans make the best employees. Their study found vets perform at higher levels, and are less likely to leave their job. Hiring vets actually showed increases in revenue because of higher production and less job turnover.
So with training programs and job placement by philanthropic organizations, we can all help vets settle into civilian life. The best way to get involved is to hire vets or work directly with philanthropic organizations that train them with essential job skills. Or you can even offer a training program yourself that will help them get the skills they need to succeed. We’ve seen it proven that vets are some of the most well-disciplined individuals that work at the highest level, and better yet, they help companies increase their revenues.
The benefits of helping vets through philanthropy will not only help strengthen our economy with more jobs, but it will give back to vets who risked their lives for our freedom.