John Reynolds is being recognized as a Champion of Change for his dedication to service and his continued support for efforts to boost employment for fellow veterans.
It is a telling mark of a society how it treats those who serve it. Whatever you may think of the advisability of America’s military conflicts, we owe something to those individuals who have been willing to make sacrifices for the rest of us. Fortunately, I think we’ve learned much in the last 40 years about the distinction between the warrior and the war, and that’s a good thing.
As a business entrepreneur and veteran, I was troubled by unemployment rates approaching 30% among younger and disabled veterans. My concern gave way to puzzlement. These veterans are, after all, among our best. They are disciplined, mission-focused team players with a demonstrated predisposition to serve. What company wouldn’t want to hire people like these? It simply made no sense to me that these good people had so much trouble finding employment.
I learned that high unemployment among returning veterans has been with us since the Revolutionary War. For the most part, it comes down to a simple disconnect: Employers don’t know how to source, train and integrate veterans into their operations, while returning veterans are ill-prepared to conduct a job search.
This is not to say that we’ve abandoned our veterans. As you’d expect, Americans everywhere are extending their help. Federal and state governments offer training and tax incentives and maintain an army of dedicated employment coordinators, while thousands of private organizations and non-profits offer related support.
The founding principles of Veterans2Work sought to complement and leverage what was already in place. First, rather than duplicate services, we would make them easily accessible to veterans through a coherent program (“do what we do best and link to the rest”). Second, we would complement government programs’ emphasis on the “supply side” by focusing on working directly with businesses to solve their real problems.
During the past several years, we’ve forged a working relationship with thousands of partner individuals and organizations and reached out to hundreds of businesses, educating them about the many benefits of hiring veterans and providing them with hiring tools and resources that ensure a good match for the job. In our virtual service center, we provide veterans with a friendly environment and support to launch and sustain a successful career. Lately, it’s been very gratifying to be placing more veterans in good jobs with good pay.
We welcome a discussion with businesses interested in hiring hard-working, service-oriented, loyal employees. And, of course, we welcome all U.S. military veterans looking for a good job. Vets can register with us at www.veterans2work.org/register.
John Reynolds is founder / Executive Director of www.Veterans2Work.org,