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New Guide Highlights Best Practices and Innovations in Helping Veterans Thrive in the Private Sector

More than 30 companies and organizations from America’s private sector share lessons learned in effective recruitment, assimilation, retention, and development of veterans in the civilian workforce

Last November, more than 30 organizations, including businesses, government agencies, think tanks and veteran advocates, joined forces in New York City for a “best practices” summit on veteran employment. Keynote speakers included Richard D. Parsons, now former chairman of the board of Citigroup, and Mrs. Patricia Shinseki - two of the Joining Forces three-member advisory board.

Just last week, the results of the summit came to fruition with the release the Guide to Leading Practices and Resources Supporting the Employment of Veterans and Military Families. The guide was published by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and reflects a collaborative contribution of major private-sector employers and others who agreed to share their own lessons learned and innovations with regard to effective recruitment, assimilation, retention, and development of veterans in the civilian workforce - all in an effort to advance employment opportunities for the nation’s veterans and military family members.

With American troops out of Iraq and our responsible withdrawal from Afghanistan now well underway, more than 1,000,000 veterans are expected to transition out of the military in the coming years. This guide is timely - and an imporant resource for every company in America looking to recruit, employ and retain our nation’s veterans.

We know that veterans are valuable additions to any company and are good for the bottom line. The White House Business Council has generated a “Guide to Hiring Veterans” and significant efforts are underway to address veteran and military spouse employment. More than 1,600 companies have hired 70,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year through Joining Forces. And in just the last 2 weeks, the President has announced a new measure to help veterans secure meaningful work in the manufacturing sector.

And now, Syracuse University and major companies in America’s private sector like Citigroup, AT&T, Google, Prudential, GE, Accenture, JP Morgan Chase, and BAE have come together and produced a first-of-its-kind guide that details a series of practices and policies backed by serious research that can positively impact veteran employment. The guide is full of valuable information and references. Case studies showcase corporate best practices in veteran recruiting, employee assistance, training and development. And the consolidation of existing resources on veteran employment-related issues is top-notch.

As the President has stated, "Nobody who fought for our country overseas should have to fight for a job when they come back home." Our troops and their families have stepped up and served this country in extraordinary ways. Here are a few things that you can do with this report to make a positive difference.

  • If you are a company currently hiring veterans, check out the guide and see if there are a few examples of opportunities to improve your current practices.
  • If you are a business leader that has not yet invested in America’s veterans, check out the guide to get a better appreciation for what veterans can bring to your company.
  • If you are a community leader, send a link to this guide to every business owner that you know – and encourage them to hire a veteran.
  • If you are a blogger – or otherwise have a way to “spread the word” -- send this blog or the link to this guide to business leaders in your community.

Brad Cooper is the Executive Director of Joining Forces. Learn more about the Joining Forces initiative: Visit, like Joining Forces on Facebook and follow @JoiningForces on Twitter.